WSNA stands with the Washington State Labor Council, the AFL-CIO, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and so many others in expressing sadness and anger about the murders of Asian women and other workers in Atlanta.
Call the Atlanta shootings what they are: racism. These recent murders are only the most violent, visible manifestations of the increased racism against community members of Asian and Pacific Islander descent that has been a dreadful side effect of the coronavirus pandemic. From the early days of the pandemic, when COVID-19 was labeled the “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” by the President of the United States, Asian Americans have been marked as scapegoats and have faced racist harassment and violence.
This wave of hate crimes is all the more painful against the history of racism and discrimination against Asian and Pacific Islander people in the United States. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to assaults against Filipino farmworkers in the 1930s and the Japanese internment camps of the 1940s, people of Asian descent have been cast as dangerous others.
Nurses of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage have not been immune to racist targeting in our nation, even as they work to save lives in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Our Asian and Pacific Island members are on the front lines of the pandemic, and our Asian and Pacific Islander community has stepped up to help, donating thousands of N95s and other Personal Protective Equipment to safeguard nurses and other health care workers against COVID-19.
WSNA stands in solidarity with Asian Pacific Island communities and resolves to continue standing with all Black, Indigenous and people of color facing racism and discrimination. We join in expressing our deepest condolences to the families of the victims in the Atlanta shootings.