Shocked by Violence, Westchester Candidate Tasha Young Expresses Solidarity with Asian-Americans
Calls for allies to do more to prevent isolation and hate of AAPI neighbors
GREENBURGH, NY- I am writing to say that I stand in solidarity with my sisters and brothers of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)descent in America. This is a time when Americans of all races and backgrounds must come together to embrace and protect the AAPI who live among us as friends and neighbors. Their presence brightens our communities and contributes to the diversity that is a unique strength of Westchester, New York, and especially Greenburgh.
In the past week, this country has seen yet more brutal surprise attacks by strangers on AAPI who are just trying to go about their daily lives. Even more horrifying, the elderly have often been targeted, our most vulnerable population. This is unacceptable. The total hate crimes from March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021, in the Asian Community across the United States are now approaching 4000 according to the Stop AAPI Hate national report, and it is thought that many crimes are going unreported because of fear of law enforcement and lack of language access.
As a fellow person of color, I feel the pain of being hated and hurt by a stranger simply because of who I am, and how I look. I invite others of all races and backgrounds in the community to join me in reaching out to AAPI friends and acquaintances, especially the elderly or needy. During COVID19 and from now on we need to watch out for one another as we would watch out for our own family. They are us. If we see something, we should help out and report it. If we hear people saying racist things about Asian American and Pacific Islanders, we should speak up. And there is more we can do to be proactive: we should ask if they need our help. When the pandemic is over, we should invite them to dine with us and socialize with us. We need to create a future where the races stop self- segregating and start learning to appreciate one another.
Our nation's most recent uptick in warmongering against our fellow citizens was undoubtedly triggered by the hate speech and verbal disdain delivered by our immediate past president. To follow his lead in using anti-Asian slurs to describe the coronavirus and dehumanize the AAPI community, is to follow a white supremacist agenda. The AAPI community is undeservingly suffering from his words today.
I urge all and anyone who sees or experiences a hate incident in Westchester County, to report it to the Human Rights Commission at [email protected], by telephone at (914) 995-7710, or to contact the District Attorney’s Office Bias & Hate Crimes hotline at (914) 995-TIPS (914-995-8477). Even if an incident does not rise to the level of a crime, the County is tracking these incidents and may identify patterns that may prevent further attacks.
Finally, in terms of policy, Westchester communities can do more outreach to AAPI by providing language assistance, immigration assistance, trust building events with law enforcement, and much more. Creating opportunities for residents of other ethnic backgrounds to mingle, socialize with, and learn to love the Asian Americans of Westchester should be our aim.