We Stand with the AAPI Community

It is with aggrieved hearts and resolute voices that Xavier Mission unequivocally condemns the surge in violence and prejudice against the Asian American/Pacific Islander community in the United States. We stand proudly with the AAPI community, and will redouble our efforts to protect our staff, guests, volunteers, and those in our larger community who face prejudice and hate. The belief in the inherent dignity of all people is core to our work and to our values. Any action or sentiment that flouts these values must be seen as an affront to our shared humanity.

To say that such behavior is “wrong,” “regrettable,” “unfortunate,” or “troubling”— just a few of the words used to describe these events — shows just how inadequate words are at this point. “Thoughts and prayers” are not sufficient. Silence is unacceptable, but words are not enough. They must be supplemented by meaningful action by our political leaders at every level of government. That includes greater protection for vulnerable populations, providing support for people to report hate crimes, and pursuing justice for the victims of such crimes.

We cannot address the violence against the Asian community without also recognizing that one of these recent horrific incidents was a mass shooting. In an average year, over 10,300 hate crimes in the United States involve a firearm—more than 28 each day, according to everytown.org. In our own city, arrests for guns increased by 63.9% in February 2021 compared to February 2020, according to the New York Police Department. That is why we also call for common-sense gun legislation.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice is not only about punishing wrongs, but about protecting rights — and promoting what is right. It is time to stop reacting and instead, take sensible, meaningful, deliberate action. Only then can we truly say there is “justice for all.”

For anyone in our community interested in coming together for discussion and action around these issues, please contact Roxanne De La Torre, Director of Outreach, at rdelatorre@xaviermission.org

-The Xavier Mission Staff and Board of Directors