During Black History Month and in this new Year of the Ox, Compass stands in solidarity with Asian American communities across the world to condemn anti-Asian racism, particularly the recent spate of anti-Asian hate crimes in San Francisco, Oakland, and beyond. In Oakland, the president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce noted tragically that seniors and elders are fearful of walking on their own streets.
Compass unreservedly condemns anti-Asian racism in all forms, and we send our deep condolences to the families of those affected and so many other families and neighborhoods impacted by hate, intimidation, threats, and violence. We also extend our gratitude and admiration to the swell of activists, artists, organizers, and others who have stepped in to build community and repair harms, by leading safety patrols, distributing resources across neighborhoods, and fighting hate with their voices and written words.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a uniquely difficult impact on Asian American communities across the world. In San Francisco’s Chinatown—the nation’s largest and oldest Chinatown—the community is not only grappling with COVID-19, but also with decreased tourism and economic pain due to pandemic-related racism. Nationally, the Pew Research Center reports that 58% of Asian Americans feel they experience racism more commonly now than before the pandemic, and more than 30% have reported experiencing slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity.
There is so much pain in this—specifically, the pain of longstanding racism that has only been reinvigorated during COVID-19. In the 19th century, white communities reacted to economic and social anxieties by blaming Asian and Chinese immigrants for the spread of diseases prevalent at the time. This history goes largely underacknowledged in mainstream discourse, and yet it is the root of where we find ourselves today. At the same time, anti-Asian racism is connected to a broader system of white supremacy that benefits from divisions between communities of color. We must work together and find collaborative solutions to dismantle this system for the benefit of all oppressed groups.
Asian American communities in San Francisco are a core and vibrant part of our Compass community, and we stand in allyship, in community, in solidarity, and in the struggle for justice with them and with Asian-American communities everywhere.
Here are some relevant resources from The Management Center, which recently issued their own statement on Black & Asian solidarity: