JCRC Stands in Solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
March 18, 2021
Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) stands in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. We are saddened and deeply concerned about rising xenophobia and violence inflicted upon the AAPI community in the United States. The racist act of violence against Asian women in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, is a scourge on our society and we must confront racist stereotypes about Asians, and specifically the hypersexualization of Asian women and racialized misogyny.
“The violence that occurred in Atlanta is part of a disturbing trend in the United States in which nearly 3,800 hate incidents were reported targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Over the past year, the Coalition of Asian American Leaders has reported a 150% increase in anti-Asian violence. These acts of hate are part of a pattern that follows a long history of anti-Asian racism which have accelerated during the recent pandemic due to the malignant scapegoating of the AAPI community including at the highest levels of government.
“We know from history the corrosive effect rhetoric and policies that dehumanize groups of people can have on society. As part of a continuing series of educational events, the JCRC is proud to partner with the Twin Cities Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, Allianz, and Minnesota State University, Mankato on April 29 to share the story of Sam Mihara, a Japanese American who was interned during WWII. Mr. Mihara’s first-hand testimony and experience can help us better understand the historical implications of why anti-Asian rhetoric is so dangerous.
“The JCRC is also a proud member of the Communities Combatting Hate coalition advocating for policy change to make Minnesota safe for all Minnesotans, no exceptions. Every Minnesotan must be protected from hate, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, immigration status, ethnicity, or disability.
“In the wake of the ongoing surge of anti-Asian violence and racism, now more than ever, HF 1691 is needed to strengthen Minnesota’s hate crime laws and provide resources for the victims of hate and their communities. We look forward to the bill being heard in the Minnesota House next week.
“As our colleagues at the JCRC of Atlanta so eloquently stated, we will continue to support our AAPI neighbors and fellow Jews who are members of the AAPI community.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.