Town Of Winchester Select Board AAPI Resolution
March 25, 2021
The city of Winchester stands in solidarity with its Asia-American and Pacific Islander Community (AAPI) in response to the recent attacks in Atlanta.
We would like to raise awareness of the dangerous historical increase in incidents and assaults against AAPI communities since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic and acknowledge the pain and fear that is so palpable right now.
We also want to acknowledge that the United States existed for centuries prior to the pandemic, and that the historic power of white supremacy created structural hierarchies that can divide communities. By continuing to treat the struggle against white supremacy as separate struggles and isolating the AAPI community to have different effects outside of the discrimination faced by others, we are allowing the system to continue to divide. We really do have a common enemy – racism, which is embedded in our culture and society. By showing solidarity with one another against all forms of racism, we assert our common humanity and create a space for healing.
Last summer, following the murder of George Floyd and the spate of grief and protests across the country, the city of Winchester issued a joint statement on racism and police brutality, affirming and pledging our core values and commitment to diversity, justice and inclusion, to become a more anti-racist community.
Many measures have been taken since June: The Select Board has committed itself to recognizing the original indigenous inhabitants of this land. Faith communities have discussed and reflected on the origins and effects of racism and founded book groups to raise awareness. Local nonprofits have brought in social justice educators and offered community talks about anti-racist practices.
We appreciate these actions AND must commit to continue this work, including combating anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.
We must first shout out anti-Asian language, including any references to COVID 19 that encourage blaming and shaming Asians. We must commit to learning and practicing allies. We can also commit to learning about the long history of anti-Asian discrimination and oppression in the US, challenging stereotypes including the myth of the exemplary minority, and learning more about Asian cultures. We need to report incidents of threats or harassment.
As city caretaker Lisa Wong and Police Chief Daniel O’Connell noted in their latest statement, “Winchester is not immune” to incidents of biased behavior and “many hate crimes against Asians are undocumented.” The STOP AAPI Hate website (https://stopaapihate.org) has an easily accessible reporting mechanism in many languages and key recommendations for action: Now is the time to fully recognize our responsibility as individuals and as a collective to fight this epidemic of racism .
The Winchester Select Board invites community leaders and townspeople to join us as we move forward. Let us imagine together what is possible when we act in solidarity as collaborators against hatred. Michael Bettencourt, Chairman Susan Verdicchio, Vice Chairman Mango Goluboff Jacqueline A. Welch Amy Shapiro
This press release was produced by the City of Winchester. The views expressed here are the author’s own.