AAFE released the following statement February 11, 2021:
AAFE calls on elected officials at all levels of government, and our partners in immigrant and communities of color, to condemn anti-Asian racism and hate crimes – and to invest in community-centered programs and infrastructure for creating safe, inclusive, and healthy communities.
The alarming rise in the number of physical attacks on Asian Americans, especially against the elderly, is compounding the harm that Asian American communities are experiencing from housing, health, and economic disparities.
The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color has been deeply felt by Asian Americans in New York City. South Asian New Yorkers had the highest rates of positivity and hospitalizations among Asians, second only to Latinx New Yorkers for positivity and Black New Yorkers for hospitalization. The NYC Health and Hospitals data also revealed that Chinese New Yorkers had the highest mortality rate of all racial and ethnic groups and were nearly 1.5 times more likely to die than Whites.
These devastating outcomes are a result of rent-burdened households living in overcrowded housing; limited enrollment and access to health care; and employment on the front lines as essential workers in providing health care, food retail, personal services, construction, and transportation.
The shared experience of structural inequality and racism in Asian American communities and other communities of color requires us to deepen our work together to advocate for sustained investment in community infrastructure, including affordable housing, health care coverage for all, and vocational training and living wage employment.
We also hold up community-centered programs and mental health services as more effective and humane alternatives to law enforcement interventions for overcoming fear, harm, and structural barriers to creating safe, inclusive, and healthy communities.