The mayor of Federal Way recently issued a statement on behalf of the city condemning racism against Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals.
The statement, issued on March 17, reads:
“With the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a dangerous, and now deadly, increase in anti-Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) racism. Far too often, women have experienced the brunt of this racism. The sexist stereotypes of Asian American women have led to many types of violence, and what we saw in Georgia yesterday is just the latest example of how this behavior destroys lives.
“This destructive behavior has led to a rise in xenophobia and discrimination. Your Federal Way municipal government condemns the heinous acts of violence we have seen across our country.
“Federal Way is a wonderfully diverse community with a significant AAPI population. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our residents in embracing our diversity, and we denounce the terrible rhetoric directed at the AAPI community. There is no place for this kind of behavior in a free and open society, and it will not be tolerated in our city.”
The mayor’s comments follow a deadly March 16 attack near Atlanta, Georgia, where a man went on a shooting spree, killing eight people at three different spas. Of the eight people killed, six of the victims appeared to be Asian woman, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The shooter, a 21-year-old white man, was charged on March 17 with eight counts of murder in connection to the attacks, and hate crime charges may follow, various sources report.
In Seattle, hundreds of people gathered March 13 in the Chinatown International District to denounce the increase in violent attacks, bias and hate toward Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, according to The Seattle Times.
Hate crimes, particularly against Asian Americans, have surged in the last year. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed 59 hate crimes cases in 2020, a 20-case increase from 2019, the office reported in early March.