The following statement is from ListenFirst’s cofounders, Christian Anthony and Jason Klein.
As we approach the close of another tragic week, we feel the need to acknowledge the recent attack on three massage businesses in the Atlanta area that stole the lives of eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent. Since Tuesday, we’ve read, listened, and watched with horror as details of the shooting have become public. There is no doubt that this horrific incident is the direct result of the rising amount of Anti-Asian sentiment in this country.
At this time, we would like to emphasize our commitment to the safety, security, and well-being of our AAAPI (Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander) colleagues and friends, whose extraordinary leadership and contributions to ListenFirst help to shape our amazing business and employee culture.
The Center of Hate and Extremism at California State University recently published a study revealing that in 16 of America’s largest cities, hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked nearly 150 percent in the last year. New York City and Los Angeles are the two largest epicenters of anti-Asian reported incidents.
This data is deeply disturbing to us and we want you to know that we are staying vigilant, and we are listening. We also want to acknowledge while this alarming trend has been tied to the blatant hate speech of blaming Asians for the coronavirus, this racism hasn’t appeared out of thin air. Our country has a long and problematic history in its treatment of Asian citizens.
Below are several resources for those who may be seeking ways to support the AAPI Community. We’ve also made a donation on behalf of ListenFirst to Stop AAPI Hate specifically, as the organization’s mission to stop hate against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities has never been more critical.