Spokane’s Asian American community shares resources to combat anti-Asian violence in wake of shootings

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office still has yet to pinpoint a motive in Tuesday’s Georgia shootings, unable to say whether it was a racially motivated attack or not.

Still, it hurt a community already enduring racial attacks during the pandemic.

Just like past assaults against Asian Americans, the shootings that took place Tuesday are heartbreaking.

“I think it’s outrageous for anyone to deny that the shootings were racially motivated, given the businesses that were chosen,” said Pui-yam Lam, co-chair of Spokane’s Asian Pacific Islander Community. “They were all Asian-owned massage parlors. Who died? Six of the eight killed were Asian women.”

The rise of anti-Asian American hate has grown in the past year because of the pandemic.

Since March of 2020 to February, one Asian American activist organization says it’s received more than 3,700 hate incidents.

Women reported hate incidents 2.3 times more than men, according to Stop AAPI Hate. Though the Sheriff’s Office has yet to say why the shooting happened, activists say it’s hard to ignore the pattern that’s being seen.

“I think the pandemic is simply a trigger that uncovers a lot of the hate and racism against Asian Americans that is already here and deeply ingrained in our society,” said Lam.

“Yesterday was hard,” added Rowena Pineda, who also serves as co-chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Community. “Just because you have so many, six young women, whose lives were lost senselessly. It’s heartbreaking for our community. It’s been kind of that escalation that’s been happening for the past several months.”

Stopping the hate requires people to speak up.

The Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Spokane says they know they have allies from other people of color, but more must be done.

You can find a list of resources below:

Combating Anti-Asian Racism in the TIme of COVID-19_ Resources by Emily Oliver on Scribd