UFCW 1518 is shocked and disgusted by the murder of eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta yesterday. This violent, racist, and misogynist act happened because of the increase in anti-Asian rhetoric stirred up by former President Donald Trump. While Trump made the situation worse, he did not originate it – anti-Asian racism has been a feature in North America for more than a century, and it is a shameful legacy that no progressive organization should tolerate.
UFCW 1518 unequivocally renounces ant-Asian and anti-immigrant racism, misogyny, and anti-sex worker sentiment. We stand in solidarity with and pledge our ongoing support to those who have experienced the manifold, intersectional traumas inflicted by an unequal society.
We know that acts of racism and violence against Asian Canadians have increased during COVID-19, but that they are nothing new. The Asian Canadian community has contributed extraordinary things to our country while simultaneously facing systemic discrimination, violence, and inequality. Some of these systemic forms of discrimination in Canadian history include the Chinese Exclusion Head Tax and the internment of Japanese people during World War II.
There are many concrete steps that can be taken to address anti-Asian racism. These include:
- Joining the campaign to end COVID racism
- Intervening safely when someone is experiencing a racist attack
- Filing an anonymous report of an anti-Asian racist incident
- Learning strategies for fighting racism in your community
- Finding mental health support if you have experienced racism
- Donating to local organizations that fight anti-Asian racism and support newcomers
For our part, UFCW 1518 commits to continuing to fight back against anti-Asian racism in our community and in our union. That includes working to increase diversity in all ranks of our union, promoting events like Human Rights Week and other opportunities to educate members about anti-racism, and partnering with peer organizations that work to promote anti-racist causes.