Statement Condemning the Anti-Asian and Gender-Based Violence in Georgia

March 18, 2021

To Our Northampton Community: 

At our March meeting of the Northampton Human Rights Commission, we mourned the terrible anti-Asian and gender-based violence that claimed the lives of eight women in Georgia this week. We recognize that this is just the most recent, most horrific example of the terrible rise in hate crimes, bias incidents, and hateful speech directed at our Asian-American and Pacific Island families, friends, and neighbors.

Last May, our City Council passed a Resolution Denouncing Anti- Asian, Asian-American, and Xenophobic Discrimination which calls on our community to:

  • condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form in and around our City,
  • stand with our Asian and Asian-American neighbors and business community, and
  • condemn all manifestations of anti-Asian racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and scapegoating.

The Northampton Human Rights Commission affirms the experiences of our Asian American and Pacific Island neighbors who have been targeted and threatened. We affirm the experiences of Black Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color who have similarly experienced harm through racism in our own community. We recognize that there are barriers that prevent our neighbors with marginalized identities from fully participating in our local institutions, and our beautiful community is less beautiful, less whole, and less just than it could be because of their absence.

To our neighbors in the AAPI community who are grieving, angry, worried, and scared today, we say: we see you; we grieve with you; we denounce the hate that hurts you. We commit to speak out against anti-AAPI bias and discrimination.

To every neighbor who has been harmed by the physical, emotional, and spiritual violence born of hatred and systems of oppression: we see you; we affirm your inherent dignity and humanity; we pledge to continue to work against the fear, lies, and hatred that threaten you; none of us will be free until all of us are.

In Hope,

Northampton Human Rights Commission 

Wren Bellavance-Grace, Chair
Megan Paik, Vice-Chair
Booker Bush, MD
Deidre Cuffee-Gray 
Susan MacDonald 
Davina Miller 
Kathy Wicks