Our MCCPTA community mourns the loss of the victims of this week's horrific shootings in Atlanta, and our thoughts are with their family and friends. Although the killings remain under investigation, these attacks come amidst a disturbing nationwide rise in violence, discrimination, and xenophobia directed against members of our community who are of Asian descent. The Atlanta shootings are only the most recent and visible manifestations of racism and injustice in our country.We condemn not only recent acts of violence against Asian Americans, but also the pervasive discrimination, stereotyping and racism that continues to be a blight on our society.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a uniquely difficult impact on Asian American communities at home and Asian communities across the world. Nationally, the Pew Research Center reports that 58% of individuals who identify as Asian American feel they experience racism more commonly now than before the pandemic, and more than 30% have reported experiencing slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity. There is so much pain in this—specifically, the pain of longstanding racism that has been reinvigorated during COVID-19. In the 19th century, white communities reacted to economic and social anxieties by blaming Asian and often Chinese immigrants for the spread of diseases prevalent at the time. This history goes largely unacknowledged in mainstream discourse, and yet, it is one of the roots of where we find ourselves today.
At the same time, anti-Asian racism is connected to a broader system of white supremacy that benefits from divisions between communities of color. We must work together and find collaborative solutions to dismantle this system for the benefit of all oppressed groups. To this end, following the George Floyd killing, MCCPTA, through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, redoubled our efforts to tackle systemic racism and building diverse, equitable, inclusive schools, communities,and systems within the MCPS community.
We are reminded again this week of the poisonous effect of racism on the lives of many different groups and people. MCCPTA stands for and with all the groups who contribute to the beautiful and vibrant diversity of our county, our country, and the world. Montgomery County's Asian American communities area vital source of creativity and strength for this area. Our future depends on ensuring that they, and people of all backgrounds, can flourish fully here and in America.We will continue to support and work with all our students, teachers, staff, and alumni to build a better world.
Our MCCPTA DEI Committee suggests a number of resources related to learning more about issues of systemic racism, diversity and inclusion: