With anti-Asian bias on the rise in our communities, and the hate crimes committed in Georgia this week, it is especially important that we uplift and center Asian American communities. All Americans deserve to feel safe.
I am horrified by the hate crimes rising across the Bay Area. And I am pleased San Francisco officials have increased security and support in predominantly Asian American neighborhoods. As a Black woman, a mother, an educator and a fierce advocate of equity in our schools I utilize my social media platforms to speak out on race and racism. Even when these conversations are difficult in our very divided society.
A number of tweets and social media posts I made in 2016 have recently been highlighted. They have been taken out of context, both of that specific moment and the nuance of the conversation that took place. President Donald Trump had just won an election fueled by division, racism and an anti-immigration agenda. Meanwhile one of my daughters had recently experienced an incident in her school in which her Asian American peers were taunting her Latinx classmate about “sending kids back to Mexico” and the KKK. It was a time of processing, of fear among many communities with the unknown of how the next four years would unfold.
And here we are today. Anti-Asian racism is not new, but the recent uptick in violence and bigotry against Asian-Americans is clearly connected to Trump and his racist tropes.
But whether my tweets are being taken out of context or not, only one thing matters right now. And that is the pain our Asian American brothers and sisters and siblings are experiencing. Words have meaning and impact. Trump showed us that clearly with his sowing of hate and pitting communities of color against one another for political gain. I acknowledge that right now, in this moment my words taken out of context can be causing more pain for those who are already suffering. For the pain my words may have caused I am sorry, and I apologize unreservedly.
What matters more than anything is showing up and supporting Asian American communities and victims of hate crimes. Let me be clear: I stand with the Asian American community against acts of violence. I have spoken with leaders in the Asian American community over the last 24 hours and I acknowledge the pain they are feeling.
I’d like to thank those of you who have reached out and engaged me in difficult, courageous and productive conversations over recent days. And I look forward to continuing the conversation.