March 26, 2021
As we denounce and combat racist violence and racial inequity in all its forms, we must acknowledge one of the more insidious, toxic repercussions of COVID-19: a surge in racist and xenophobic attacks against Asian communities.
Anti-Asian hate is nothing new. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to the Japanese internment camps during WWII, to anti-South Asian incidents after the September 11 attacks, Asian communities have been subjected to unfathomable acts of hatred and violence throughout our history. The recent mass shooting in Atlanta, in which six women of Asian descent tragically lost their lives, is the latest reminder of the threats Asian communities face in their everyday lives.
Paul, Weiss’s fight against anti-Asian racism goes back decades. We have long partnered with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and others in pro bono representations on behalf of Asian American communities facing discrimination. Most recently, our lawyers documented the alarming rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans in a report we co-authored with the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), “A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions.” The report, which received global attention, has helped catalyze the recent national reckoning over anti-Asian racism.
We recommit to playing our part in dismantling the profound racism and xenophobia that plagues our society. As a first step, our firm’s actions include, among others:
- participating in a virtual action effort, #STOPASIANHATE, in collaboration with the Partnership for New York City, to speak out against anti-Asian prejudice and violence;
- continuing our collaboration with AABANY focused on pressing legislators and law enforcement authorities to implement our report’s key recommendations; and
- signing onto the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) pledge to stand against anti-Asian hate, violence and racism related to the coronavirus.
We pledge to continue and increase our efforts as a community to denounce anti-Asian violence and to ensuring that those responsible are held to account, including by engaging in calls to action such as the above, in collaboration with our nonprofit partners and the larger law firm community.
Brad S. Karp