Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association Statement Condemnation of Anti-Asian Discrimination
The Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association (AAPINA) strongly condemns the heightened aggression and insults toward our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. As the unified voice for AAPI nurses around the world, we share the concerns of our AAPI nurses and the overall well-being of all AAPIs. We want you to know that we see and hear you, and we are with you.
We thank the current Administration for the Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.1 The White House has also acknowledged the contribution that AAPIs have had in this country, as a large number are serving on the front lines of the pandemic. The most comprehensive count of health professional deaths related to COVID show that 21% of deaths are among our AAPI colleagues,2 highlighting the immense sacrifice that AAPIs have made for this country. While this acknowledgement is a step in the right direction, we are still far from where we need to be. Crimes against our communities are still rampant.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,3 there were over 4,700 hate crimes motivated solely by race or ethnic bias in 2019 and these numbers have increased in 2020; 4.8% resulting from anti-AAPI bias (approximately 230 anti-AAPI hate crimes). The Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism (CSUSB) reports “there has been approximately 150 percent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in 16 of America’s largest cities, with particularly drastic surges in New York City and Los Angeles.”4
Additionally, the Stop AAPI Hate coalition5 reported 3,795 nationwide incidents between March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. These incidents ranged from online harassment, including microaggressions, to physical assault. AAPI women reported abuse twice as often as men. This is evident in the recent March 16, 2021 shootings in Atlanta in which racism and misogyny fueled fatal acts. Those who are targeted are the most vulnerable: immigrant Asian women. We mourn with the families of Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue; and other victims from the shooting, Paul Andre Michaels and Elcias Hernadez-Ortiz.
Anti-Asian sentiment is certainly not a new phenomenon. Beginning with the Immigration Act of 1882,5 in which Chinese immigration was suspended. Followed by the Executive Order 90666 that froze the assets of citizens and resident aliens of Japanese descent and sent more than
110,000 to internment camps in 1942. It is essential that we unite together to combat the violence and hate once and for all.
“AAPINA has been hearing the collective voices of concerns on increasing Anti-Asian racism and Xenophobia incidents,” said the AAPINA President, Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN. “Regardless of our race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, age, or geographical areas, we all should stand and work together against racism and bigotry, and we all should support our cause for social justice and our equitable world.”
We would like to thank the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA) for standing behind our statement. As the NCEMNA President, Debra A. Toney, PhD, RN, FAAN said, “We are saddened by the senseless killings that occurred in Atlanta including 6 Asian women. We condemn the violence and racist behavior which must stop! NCEMNA stands in solidarity with AAPINA and the Asian American community and support our joint efforts to end hate crimes against Asian Americans.”
AAPINA and NCEMNA reaffirm our commitment to raise awareness and eliminate racism, while maintaining the mental and physical health of all our communities. AAPINA is proud to be a part of the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.7 We must act collectively to condemn all hate crimes.
AAPINA Board of Directors