Vote Run Lead stands in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community against xenophonic rhetoric, racist acts, and anti-Asian hate crimes. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have experienced escalating micro-aggressions and verbal and physical assault. Recently in February 2021, Noel Quintana, who is Flipino American, was on the subway in New York City when his face was slashed from ear to ear. He said “I asked for help, but nobody helped me...Nobody moved.” Earlier in January, Vicha Ratanapakdee was killed after being forcefully shoved onto the sidewalk in San Francisco. Mr. Ratanapakdee was originally from Thailand but had moved to the Bay area to be closer to his children. 

According to the New York Police Department, hate crimes against Asian Americans have risen 1,900% in New York City in 2020. Stop AAPI Hate, a project created after the pandemic began, recorded over 2,808 reports of anti-Asian discrimination from March to December 2020.

These derogatory speech and hate crimes are condoned and perpetuated by our nation’s highest leaders, who regularly use inflammatory language from calling COVID-19 the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus,” or stay silent and complicit as their colleagues engage in scare-mongering and scapegoating of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This issue is further complicated by the fact that some of the perpetrators of the hate crimes are themselves, people of color. This behavior reinforces the notion that Asian Americans are “perpetual foreigners,” and thus unassimilable to American culture. It is not a coincidence that many of the victims of the most heinous crimes were elderly Asian Americans, right before the Lunar New Year, in predominantly Asian American cities and neighborhoods such as Queens in New York City, or San Jose, or San Francisco. Fear and demonizing of the “other” is also inseparable from American culture.    

We stand with our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters and our allies in calling for justice. We demand our leaders and lawmakers enact justice for those injured and have that justice be understood as an accounting of the larger system at play: xenophobic rhetoric, racist acts, and hate crimes are tools of bigotry and racism and are a part of the overall system that only benefits and perpetuates white supremacy. We know there is a better way forward, one that is not zero sum but benefits us all.

We commit to working with our AAPI brothers and sisters and our allies to develop, support, and uplift intersectional, anti-racist, reform-minded women to run for public office. 

We commit to deepening our outreach and partnership with AAPI communities to produce greater representation of Asian American and Pacific Islander women leaders. 

And we commit to building multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-generational coalitions that will, together, design and forge the democracy we all deserve.