— April 2021 —
Baltimore Sister Cities (BSC) stands united and in solidarity with members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Baltimore and in all parts of the United States. Especially as home to three Sister City relationships in Asia (Changwon, Korea; Kawasaki, Japan; and Xiamen, China), BSC deplores the events of the past year targeting members of AAPI communities. We are outraged at this senseless violence and abhor the pain and hurt inflicted on our AAPI colleagues and friends.
BSC makes this statement with awareness that anti-Asian violence is woven into the very history of our country. The Chinese massacre of 1871, the attacks on Filipino American farmworkers in the 1930’s, the angry incarceration in prison camps of Japanese Americans during WWII, and the violent arson by the Ku Klux Clan of Vietnamese American fishing boats in the 1970’s, were all emboldened by dehumanizing stereotypes and prejudice perpetuated towards Asians who immigrated into the American landscape. This normalizing of racism has continued in language like “Kung Flu” and “China Plague” in recent months.
BSC is committed to fighting prejudice and to creating dialogues on all forms of discrimination. It leads with a purpose of promoting cultural interchanges that can foster new and more culturally aware engagement. It is not what we say in the short term, but what we remain dedicated to that has lasting effects. BSC has vowed to send a strong message by providing an opportunity for an open dialogue of discussion with a distinguished group of panelists that will shed light on violence against AAPI communities. Within the next few weeks we will be announcing a live event and webinar discussion to educate and create awareness of AAPI issues and their long-term effects.