The Tallahassee Chan Center and its members express great sorrow over violent attacks on Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders—those in recent days along with the murders of eight people in Atlanta on March 16, 2021. We stand in solidarity with Asians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and residents who come to the US to learn, to better themselves and their families in the American land of opportunity, and who contribute richly to our communities, our economy and our friendship networks. America has always been a multi-cultural society, and it is this diversity that enriches all our lives and has become America’s strength. Our prayers go out to the families and friends of the Atlanta shootings, and to all those impacted by violence against Asian Americans. America’s long history of discrimination and oppression against people of color, Asians and immigrants must end. We must recognize our interdependence and work together to ensure a more peaceful and prosperous future.

As Buddhists, we know that each person deserves respect and safety, and these acts of violence hurt everyone, not only in the Asian community but our society as a whole. To see innocent people murdered or harmed by people acting out of hate and fear affects us all. Each of us can individually and collectively share acts of kindness, reach out to Asian American friends who may want to talk or know that we support them, and support anti-discrimination educational and legal activities. The Stop AAPI Hate website documents incidents of hate and violence against Asian Americans in the US, promotes educational materials, and advocates for laws that reinforce human rights and civil rights protections. Responding to hate with love and skillful means is an approach that can help people face discrimination and transform it through actions that improve society and heal the suffering people experience. We can make our world better when we expose the workings of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and homophobia and explore the complex relationships between anti-Black, anti-Asian, anti-Latinx, and anti-Indigenous racisms. We also need to amplify our interconnections with all people, and all beings. It is our responsibility to understand, support, and to work with one another for a just world. To that end, we recommend the following resources.

Read the 2020-2021 National Report on Anti Asian hate crimes

1. Actively report a crime on the Stop AAPI Hate website

2. Learn also how hate crimes differently impact BIPOC communities: Anti Asian Hate Incidents and the Broader Landscape of Racial Bias

3. Speak up, show up, and intervene when you witness Anti Asian racism. Here is a guide for bystander intervention and here is a link to free training on how we can respond appropriately.

Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that will chronicle the contributions, and challenges of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing ethnic group in America.