WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), along with State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Representatives Russell E. Holmes, Nika C. Elugardo, Liz Miranda, Jon Santiago, Brandy Fluker Oakley, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County Register of Probate Felix D. Arroyo, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins, Boston City Council President Kim Janey, Boston City Councilors At-Large Julia Mejia, Michelle Wu, and Boston City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Lydia Edwards, and Ricardo Arroyo, issued the following statement regarding the shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors last night.
“The brutal, hateful and targeted murders of Asian-American women in the Atlanta area last night is a painful reminder of the grave threat posed by white supremacy to all of our communities. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian rhetoric has led to violent and hostile behavior toward the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Massachusetts and nationwide, and yesterday’s tragic shooting, which claimed the lives of at least eight people, is only the latest example of that.
“We stand in solidarity and deep compassion with our AAPI neighbors in Georgia and across the country who continue to deal with the trauma caused by these senseless acts of hate and violence, including those who are especially vulnerable due to their immigration status, spoken language, and line of work.
“Racism, misogyny, and white supremacy are a threat to all of our communities, and as policymakers, we must commit ourselves to legislating accountability—at all levels of government—and addressing the scourge of anti-Asian hate and white supremacist violence everywhere.”
Congresswoman Pressley is an original cosponsor of the H.Res 908, A Resolution Condemning All Forms of Anti-Asian Sentiment as Related to COVID-19, which calls on all public officials to condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment; condemns all manifestations of expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, anti-Asian sentiment, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious intolerance; and calls on Federal law enforcement officials, in partnership with state and local officials, to collect data to document the rise of incidences of hate crimes due to COVID–19. The weaponization of discriminatory language targeting the AAPI community, has caused a sharp increase in hate crimes in Massachusetts and across the nation.
In March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Congresswoman Pressley spoke about the impact of racist, anti-Asian rhetoric regarding the pandemic in a House Oversight Committee hearing on the federal government’s response to the crisis.