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SRCS 3/19/21 Update: Condemning the Violence Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Posted 3/19/21

Dear San Rafael City Schools Community,

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a disgraceful surge in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Unfortunately, once again, a specific group of people are being singled out and targeted for hate crimes as frustrations build and people look to blame someone for this devastating pandemic. The media reports of these acts occurring throughout the Bay Area are infuriating and heartbreaking, and the shootings in Atlanta that killed multiple women of Asian descent are horrific. It is imperative that all of us condemn this abhorrent behavior towards the AAPI community and strongly support them

While it seems that each day brings new reports of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders being harassed, assaulted and murdered, it is also the unfortunate reality that this community has been faced with discrimination and hatred long before COVID. From housing discrimination and the Chinese Exclusion Act to atrocities such as the internment of Japanese Americans in Manzanar, the story of discrimination towards the AAPI community is deep seated. Right here in the Bay Area, there have been over 700 reported incidents targeted at Asian Americans since the pandemic.  

It is tragic and sickening to me that these attacks towards people of color in the United States have escalated dramatically in recent years, as hate crimes have increased against the AAPI community as well as African Americans, Latinos, Jewish Americans, immigrants and so many others. Marin, too, has seen its share of racist behavior, including social media postings with Anti-semitic comments with targeted lists of Jewish students in Marin schools; swastikas drawn on school buildings and in classrooms; racist graffiti written towards African American administrators; racist comments directed at Latino workers in the Canal; anti-immigrant sentiment posted online regularly; and more. 

While historically the uptick in racism correlates to periods of social unrest and upheaval, it is up to all of us to combat and confront any type of racism whenever and wherever we see it, especially as it relates to our students and our schools. It is crucial that we educate ourselves and confront the biases and prejudices that we all have, and then to reach out to actively support all groups, especially those who are most vulnerable because of systemic racism. Moreover, it's incumbent upon all of us to reach out to our AAPI friends, neighbors and colleagues to create space for their stories to be heard right now. As a community, we must unlearn the biases we all hold and teach our children to value the diversity we're lucky to have throughout the Bay Area.

Community, along with equity and joy, is one of our core District values, and this means that we all have a responsibility to support and respect each other. Any racist actions that affect some of us in our community impact all of us; and we must all work harder to band together and fight hatred wherever we find it. Please join us in standing in solidarity with all communities of color, including the Asian American Pacific Islander community during this painful time.


Jim Hogeboom