At the Arcata City Council meeting on Wednesday, April 7, the City Council approved the following statement condemning the escalating violence and ongoing harassment directed at Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
City of Arcata Statement Against Racism and Violence Towards Individuals of Asian Descent, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
The City of Arcata strongly condemns the surge of racially-motivated violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report by Stop AAPI Hate documented nearly 3,800 hate incidents nationwide in the past 12 months.
Racism and bigotry of any kind has no place in Arcata where we continue to work to ensure individuals of all races, incomes, ages, genders, and other social identities have equitable opportunities to live full, healthy, and productive lives.
Asian Americans have helped build this country and this region in the face of persistent racial discrimination.
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 explicitly prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers, and in Humboldt County, the expulsion of Eureka’s entire Chinese population occurred in 1885. In 1886 additional expulsions of Chinese people living in Arcata, Trinidad, Fortuna, Rohnerville and Ferndale took place. As a result of these racist acts, in the early 1890s, the front page of a local history and business directory declared that Humboldt was "the only county in the state containing no Chinamen." Later in 1942, Executive Order 9066 authorized the incarceration of over 100,000 Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps until 1945, and racially motivated attacks on Filipinos and other immigrants led to California’s historic Filipino Farmworker Movement.
We must continue to acknowledge the wrongs of the past to address racism in the present.
We stand in sorrow and solidarity with Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, who are facing an escalating series of racist attacks, including last week’s horrific attack in Georgia, in which anti-Asian racism compounded with misogyny resulted in the murder of eight people. We condemn these attacks and the racist rhetoric that fuels them.
We affirm our commitment to work together to become a more just and to continue to address systemic racism in our organization. We must work together to create the conditions and policies we all deserve.
We must come together as a city, a region, and nation to reject senseless racism and xenophobia. If you hear someone erroneously blaming the pandemic on the AAPI community, please correct them. If you encounter harassment, try to de-escalate it if possible. To work towards building a region where all have the opportunity to thrive, we cannot be silent when violence and hatred are experienced by anyone in our community.
To read more about local actions dedicated to building racial equity in our community, visit www.equityarcata.com, and to learn more about how you can support the local AAPI community, visit Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hapihumboldt.
Photo of the Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity’s Love Over Hate Vigil, by Dave Woody for the North Coast Journal.