The Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE) condemns the acts of hatred, violence, and terrorism surging across the U.S. against our immigrant and refugee communities, people of color, indigenous peoples and marginalized groups. We are frustrated, exhausted, and disheartened by these violent attacks. Our Asian elders continue to be targeted by post-Trump era associations of COVID-19 with Asian origins, our African American sisters and brothers continue to be hunted by white supremacist and brutalized by law enforcement, our Latinx families are still separated from their children in ICE detention centers, and our African relatives are the recipients of islamophobia and hate crimes.
These attacks are not by any means isolated events. These attacks are fueled by racism and white supremacist values that encourage violent and public displays of power by instilling fear. These attacks are a justification to use the freedom of speech to spout hatred and promote violent behavior. These attacks are a result of divisive rhetoric that have persisted throughout U.S. history and has most recently been revitalized through the Trump administration and its vestiges in U.S. politics. Throughout U.S. history, different marginalized groups have been and continue to be targets of discrimination in order to satisfy white supremacy and induce fear of the “Other”*. Victims of “Othering” include Indigenous Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans during WW2, Muslims after 9/11, Asian Americans today as a result of COVID-19, and immigrants and refugees who are seen as competing for jobs and “replacing” mainstream populations.
Now is the time to support one another, and stand up to the divisive tactics of white supremacy that counts on BIPOC and immigrant and refugee communities competing for limited resources and support. It is the responsibility of everyone to help reduce violence and promote a safe community where individuals can freely visit the grocery store, attend church, go jogging, or go to the salon without fear of harassment. Creating a violence-free community will not happen overnight; it will require immense dialogue, education, and practice to unlearn our social biases and implement preventive measures against hate crime.
WISE stands by our statement against hate crime and will continue to facilitate preventive strategies so that our communities, families, and friends can live free from violence.
Report a Hate Crime:
In an emergency, call 911
Report it to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI
For Minnesota, call 1-833-454-0148 (MN Discrimination Hotline) or fill out a complaint form here.
*“Other” refers to anyone outside of the dominant white, Christian culture.