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Asian American Groups Condemn Violence in Charlottesville Rally

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - JULY 08: Counter protestors gather during a planned Ku Klux Klan protest on July 8, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The KKK is protesting the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, and calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

Asian American organizations are united in their condemnation of the hatred and violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, which resulted in the loss of an innocent life. At press time, these organizations include the Migrant Heritage Commission MHC), OCA, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).

Full text of their news releases and statements follows.


August 12, 2017

Condemnation the Only Acceptable Message –The Migrant Heritage Commission

Rev. Atty. Arnedo S. Valera, Executive Director of the Migrant Heritage Commission MHC), issued this statement today: “The Migrant Heritage Commission is calling on President Donald Trump to condemn and call out these white supremacists and white nationalists and neo-Nazis who engaged in today’s terrorist acts.

“Mr. President, you cannot blame ‘many sides.’ This is a false ‘blame game’ statement. The fact is their target was crystal clear: the People of Color. That is un-American and totally unacceptable.

“Mr. President, RACISM IS EVIL! CALL OUT THESE RACISTS, BIGOTS, WHITE SUPREMACISTS NOW. This is not what America is all about. Your leadership is needed at this very moment.

“A united condemnation of this domestic terrorist act that claimed the life of our fellow American in categorical terms is the only acceptable message that must be conveyed to America, and the whole world.”

The Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC) is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt non-profit and non-governmental organization in Metropolitan Washington D.C.


August 13, 2017

Advancing Justice Condemns the Acts of Terror and Hate Displayed By White Supremacists

 Affiliation Calls on President to Denounce White Supremacist Violence

Washington, D.C. – The world witnessed a domestic act of terror and an ugly display of hate as white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. Yesterday, white nationalists turned their violent message into action as a driver plowed into a crowd of anti-racism counter protesters, killing one person and injuring several others.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, issues the following statement:

“Advancing Justice condemns the unabashed display of hate and violence that occurred over the weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and the dozens of injured victims.

“While many have expressed shock at the white nationalists who brought their full measure of hate and anger to the streets of Charlottesville, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Latinx, and LGBT communities are all too familiar with the true face of racism seen yesterday. As Asian Americans, our own history is deeply intertwined with white supremacy-driven bans and prohibitions including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, so-called alien land laws, anti-miscegenation laws, and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

“Advancing Justice applauds the bravery of the anti-racism counter protesters who stood up and called out the white supremacists and radical extremists for their brazen display of hate. It is particularly appalling that President Trump chose not to condemn the white supremacy that was on full display yesterday and which led to at least one death. Such domestic terrorism must be condemned as such – ignoring it will only further divide our nation and lead to more violence.

“What happened yesterday is not a partisan issue. There is no spin, no messaging, that can cover up what this is – an act of terrorism. The events in Charlottesville exposed an ugly underbelly in America that communities of color face on a daily basis.

“Asian Americans Advancing Justice mourns those injured and killed and stands with all marginalized communities that are under attack. We applaud the elected officials who immediately condemned the violence in Charlottesville for what it is. Now, Mr. President, we call upon you to do the same.”

 Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, DC), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.


August 13, 2017

OCA Condemns Hate Demonstrations

Washington, D.C. – OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates denounces the hate rally that occurred this weekend in Charlottesville, VA, and reaffirms its 44-year history of combatting bigotry.

On the night of Friday, August 11, protesters gathered at the University of Virginia with torches in a march that preceded a “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists, Nazi sympathizers, and radical right-wing groups on Saturday, August 12.

“Racism has no place in America. While we support the peaceful right to march and protest, the intention of this weekend’s march and the rally of Nazis, white nationalists, and white supremacists was to intimidate and espouse a dogma of hate,” said Vicki Shu, OCA National Vice President of Public Affairs. “Hate crimes against Asian Americans and other minority groups have been on the rise. We call on all Americans to join us and other marginalized communities to speak out against bigotry, and to come together to eliminate hate. President Trump must make it clear that racists, Nazis, and others who threaten communities of color will not be tolerated.”

At its convention last weekend in Sacramento, OCA held an anti-hate rally, “Unite Against Hate,” to combat the increased climate of hate in the United States.

Individuals can report incidents of hate at AAPI Hate Crimes Reporting Website, which can be found at aapihatecrimes.org. Hate crimes should always be reported to local law enforcement first. The OCA website only collects incidents of hate and does not report cases to the Department of Justice or to law enforcement.

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific American Islanders (AAPIs.)


August 14, 2017

APALA Condemns White Supremacist Acts of Terror in Charlottesville, VA; Holds Solidarity Vigil in Anaheim, CA

Anaheim, CA – The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) condemns the brazen acts of hate and violence during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend. APALA demands for justice for the deceased and all injured and joins thousands of labor partners, advocates and community allies to organize, resist, and fight back in response.

Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930, stated: “The despicable acts of hate and racism we saw this past weekend cannot be called anything else but acts of terror. To water down the true intent and meaning of such a vitriolic rally is to be complicit in a system that accepts the debasement and dehumanization of communities of color and all marginalized groups.”

“We applaud the many peaceful counter protesters who stood shoulder to shoulder in the larger fight to dismantle racism,” commented APALA Executive Director Alvina Yeh. “Moving forward, we must remember the power that our communities have in numbers, especially in these times when our communities are under constant attack. We will not be silenced nor will we back down to the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and the administration, which continues to push policies of white supremacy and nationalism.”

Hester concluded: “APALA condemns this ongoing trend of white supremacy, racism, and outright bigotry, and we will continue to partner with coalitions and networks that build power for ours- and allied- communities and work towards a more equitable and just society.”

During APALA’s 14th Biennial Convention, APALA will be holding a vigil in solidarity of the deceased and the injured at the Hilton Anaheim on August 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Please join us and send a message that the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and our allies will not accept racism and acts of hate and violence.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO was founded in 1992 as the first and only national organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander union members to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights.


August 14, 2017

SAALT Condemns White Supremacist Violence; Mourns the Loss of Life in Charlottesville, VA

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national civil rights and racial justice organization, condemns this weekend’s white supremacist, neo-Nazi, KKK rallies in Charlottesville, VA and mourns the loss of life in the terrorist attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured 20 peaceful anti-racist protestors. The administration’s delayed, insufficient, and tone deaf response to both the bloodshed and hate is a clear sign that the White House does not take the values of freedom, justice, and equality for all Americans seriously.

“In recent months, white supremacist hate groups have targeted South Asians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, African Americans, Jews, Latinos, and other immigrants and people of color in a rising tide of violence. This weekend’s tragic events in Charlottesville, and the administration’s anemic response, is emblematic of the White House’s ongoing campaign against communities of color,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “We demand a total and complete shutdown of white supremacy and insist the President abandons the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-American policies and rhetoric that have validated and emboldened such violence across the nation. We also demand that the white supremacist leadership in this administration be immediately terminated.”

Since the election of Donald Trump, SAALT has documented 141 incidents of violence against those who identify or are perceived as Muslim, Sikh, South Asian, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Arab American, already surpassing totals from the year leading up to the election. The administration’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies have emboldened and encouraged such violence, including in May when two men in Portland were stabbed to death while attempting to stop a noted white supremacist from verbally attacking a Muslim passenger on a train.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), white supremacist groups grew by over 54% from 2001 to 2014, with Klan groups growing from 72 to 190 in number between 2014 and 2015.

At Charlottesville on Saturday, David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard of the KKK, stated, “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed and that’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”

Our constitutional guarantees of freedom have been hijacked by white supremacist hate groups, with support from the White House, and we must continue to respond with a definitive and unified pushback. SAALT stands ready with our partners and communities to continue the resistance against division and discrimination until our communities are free to live in a just and inclusive society for all Americans.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit organization that elevates the voices and perspectives of South Asian individuals and organizations to build a more just and inclusive society in the United States. SAALT is the coordinating entity of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSO), a network of 58 organizations that serve, organize, and advocate on behalf of the South Asian community across the country.


 August 15, 2017

NaFFAA Condemns the Violence in Charlottesville; Furthers Commitment to Fighting Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Brendan Flores, National Chairman of The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), released the following statement today:

“We are deeply heartbroken regarding the displays of violence and hatred this weekend in Charlottesville, VA. We extend our deepest condolences to all the victims of the weekend’s violence.

NaFFAA stands unequivocally against the shameful, discriminatory actions taken by the assembled hate groups who chose to rally this weekend. Their negative rhetoric and propensity to violence is anathema to the uniting spirit of America, and has no place in the dialogue of our nation. It is important now, more than ever, to denounce violence motivated by racism and discrimination of any kind, and NaFFAA is committed to doing just that.”

We certainly urge President Trump and his  Administration takes all steps necessary to prevent these crimes from being committed again. NaFFAA will remain vigilant against hateful rhetoric and dangerous activity that affects Filipino-Americans, and Americans as a whole.

In the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ” NaFFAA is optimistic that the darkness that exists in society will be drowned out by the light. So let us all pledge to be bright lights in our society, pushing out the darkness, and freeing all persecuted and discriminated Americans out of the shadows, standing up to injustices and working in solidarity with marginalized communities.

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Established in 1997, it aims to promote the well-being of the 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States.