Gov. Ralph Northam is speaking out against the surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans to ensure that people of all backgrounds feel safe and welcome in Virginia.
“Hate and bigotry have no place in our Commonwealth or country. We all have a responsibility to condemn these racist acts and make clear that this is not who we are as Virginians, or as Americans,” said the governor in a statement released Wednesday in reference to the violence directed at Asian Americans and the deadly shooting that happened in three massage parlors in the Atlanta area on Tuesday night.
The shootings left eight people dead, many of them being Asian women.
“We are grieving with the Asian American community and all of the victims of the horrific shootings in Atlanta last night that took eight lives, six of whom were women of Asian descent. This is the latest in a series of heinous attacks against Asian Americans across this nation, but sadly these are not isolated events. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a disturbing rise in inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric, harassment, and violence against Asian American communities.”
Northam said that he will continue to ensure that Virginia is a safe area that promotes inclusion, diversity and equity.
“We will continue to ensure that Virginia is a place where all people are welcome and our diversity is celebrated. We stand in solidarity with members of the Asian American community and those facing discrimination, hate incidents, fear, and intimidation. We must do everything in our power to make their safety a priority and to stand against all forms of injustice.”