PHILADELPHIA — The Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement (OPE), the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI), and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) released the following statement regarding racial and ethnic violence in Buffalo, Dallas, and Laguna Woods:
“Last week’s recurrence of racial and ethnic violence in Buffalo, Dallas, and Laguna Woods has reopened trauma wounds in our nation’s marginalized communities. We mourn with those who lost loved ones in these tragic killings. We understand the deep pain that the nation feels when we see our brothers and sisters killed for doing nothing more than shopping while Black, styling hair while Korean, or worshiping while Taiwanese. In Philadelphia, we stand with our impacted communities and condemn all expressions of racist hate and violence; they have no place here and should not be anywhere in our nation.
“No one should have to live in fear, nor should anyone have their future taken away from them.
“The undeniable fact remains, there is a long history of racism against Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in this nation.
We know that these attacks were not simply about one misguided person losing his way or gun laws that make sense for today’s world or the spread of toxic ideologies in remote corners of the internet. Every day, those who have been systematically excluded from decision-making powers must continue to fight for their rights, dignity, respect, and safety in order to have a chance to live their lives to their fullest potential.
“The violence that targets Black, Brown, Asian and other people of color whose mere existence is considered a threat has become our primary means for solving problems, settling conflicts, and discharging resentments, whether in Buffalo, Dallas, Laguna Woods, or in our city streets. We believe that racialized violence is not extremist at all—it is tragically routine in America. We must do a better job at connecting these dots.
“Enough is enough. Protecting lives requires more than the empty ritual of speaking up after the bloodshed. We must recommit to proactively doing the daily work to create communities of belonging. We must disrupt racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-LGBTQ attitudes and activity wherever it exists. We must remember that even our policymakers cannot force us to be an America where everyone is valued. Our becoming is up to all of us, and we call on Philadelphians to continue to combat hate with love. Continue to call out racism when you see it and denounce dangerous and untruthful hate-based conspiracy theories.
“The weight of this violence falls disproportionately on communities of color, and we will not stand for it. The Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations will continue to sound the alarm, while continue working alongside our most vulnerable communities to co-create a future built on care and justice, rather than subjugation and fear, where everyone feels they belong. We will continue to empower our residents to better engage with one another and with their government to ensure that everyone has a say in our collective future.”