“Justice is truth in action.” — Benjamin Disraeli
The truth is that anti-Asian racism and sentiments have increased in America since the advent of COVID-19. Unsubstantiated claims have placed a heavy burden of blame on the Asian American community for this disease. Truth in action is to recognize the inherent prejudice in these claims. Truth in action is to speak up when others openly express these beliefs. Truth in action condemns pursuing violence based on prejudiced views. This is how we pursue justice.
On March 16, 2021, a gunman shot and killed eight people – including six women of Asian descent – in the Atlanta area. The lives cut short by Robert Aaron Long include Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Yong Ae Yu, Daoyou Feng, Xiaojie Tan, Paul Andre Michels, and Delaina Ashley Yayn. Undoubtedly, these killings occurred as a result of stereotypes and prejudices against the Asian American community. We must acknowledge that this is not the first instance of anti-Asian racism that resulted in violence in America. Throughout American history, Asian Americans have been targeted in the midst of national emergencies but many incidents have not been charged as hate crimes despite their racial motivations.
As future attorneys, we all have a duty to ensure the law is administered equitably and that hate crimes are prosecuted as such. We must fight racial injustice. It is not enough to be “not racist.” You must be “anti-racist”. It is not enough to be silent. You must speak up and hold those around you accountable. Use your skills, resources, and knowledge to advocate for the Asian American community. Stand against hatred. Put these truths into action. This is how we can pursue justice.
We condemn the continued discrimination and mistreatment of Asian Americans. We condemn the violence against Asian Americans that threatens their sense of safety and well-being in a country they call home. We condemn hatred and white supremacy which fuels violence against marginalized communities. We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community as they demand an end to anti-Asian discrimination and violence.
Vermont Law Black Law Students Association
Elijah Freeman, President
Robert Baker, Vice President
Caresse Duru, Secretary
Diarra Raymon, Treasurer
Chianna Hart, Parliamentarian