by Gloria T. Caoile
THE Filipino American Community of Nevada (National Federation of Filipino American Associations – Nevada) is mourning after eight people were murdered at three spas in Georgia on Tuesday, March 16. The shootings targeted AAPI women and mark an escalation of the anti-Asian racism that has been growing in the United States over the last year and that has deep historical roots.
“The Fil-Am Community of Nevada condemns the misogyny and white supremacy that led to these horrific killings,” said Cynthia Deriquito, Chair of NaFFAA-NV. “It is disturbing to see any form of racially motivated violence, and we are grieving for all of the victims.”
Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans have been particularly vulnerable to acts of discrimination, from verbal harassment to physical assault. Last month, the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate released its data on hate incidents received by the reporting center between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. There were over 3,795 incidents targeting AAPIs, and women reported more than 2.3 times more than men.
“Our community is grappling with sorrow, fear, and anger after these murders and the many other attacks on Asian Americans we have seen in recent months. NaFFAA-NV is working with lawmakers to discuss ways to address violence against the AAPI community at the local and national levels. We will also hold a town hall shortly to bring all AAPIs in Nevada together; the focus of the event will be to share safety information, including how to be vigilant and aware of one’s environment,” said Leo Belmonte, chair of the NaFFAA Desert Region.
“Our goal is to support our fellow Asian American brothers and sisters in these trying times,” said Sonny Vinuya, president of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce. “We know this longstanding problem cannot be solved overnight, but we hope to help members of our AAPI community reclaim their sense of security.”