San Francisco Arts Commission Stands with San Francisco's Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
The San Francisco Arts Commission stands in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander community members, and resolutely condemns racial slurs and violent attacks against them.
Our City—and the nation—has seen an alarming surge in acts of racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans. The spike in hate crimes in 2020 against our Asian American neighbors accompanied the onset of the COVID pandemic—with more than 2,800 documented anti-Asian hate incidents—but it is rooted in America's white supremacist history.
Nearly 250 years after our nation was founded upon the vision of equal justice for all, we are painfully far from reaching that dream. Instances of hate crime builds upon our nation's toxic legacy of a false supremacy and dominance of white over all. The forced removal and genocide of Indigenous Peoples; the institution of chattel slavery that quantified Black bodies as property; the 1871 Chinese Massacre in Los Angeles; the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act; the 1942 Executive Order 9066 that began forcing Japanese Americans to leave their homes to be interned in camps; the Jim Crow laws the perpetuated legal segregation until 1965. This violent legacy has laid the foundation for the increase in anti-Asian violence that San Francisco and the country is reckoning with today. It is our shared American history. We must own it before we can disown it.
We must understand the origins of these foundation injustices and the deeply-embedded inequities that disadvantage our BIPOC communities. We need to hold accountable the infrastructure of our institutions—from education and housing to health care and prisons—and we commit to changing the narrative of our future together with true equity as our compass.
Arts and culture can be a catalyst for meaningful change. We will continue our mission of equity and inclusion while celebrating our differences and our unifying humanity. By supporting our diverse communities' stories and histories of pain, fear, trauma, resilience, pride and joy, we incite thought and reflection, and we hope to flip the script on immoral and destructive tropes of hate and division.
The arts community has a responsibility to use our tools to lead society to a deeper understanding of the underlying currents of white supremacy and to creatively construct ways to tear it down. We ask you to join us in supporting the efforts of our Asian American, Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous and Latinx neighbors while acknowledging the intersectionality of all marginalized communities struggling to be seen, heard, recognized and cherished. In order to form a more perfect union, we must all be in this struggle together, sharing the work, sharing the pain, moving towards a more just future as one.
To our Asian American and Pacific Islander neighbors, families, friends, colleagues and artists, you are not alone. We stand with you and value your contributions and presence in our community.
If you have experienced or witnessed any anti-Asian hate incident, please report it here: stopaapihate.org
For additional resources in support of the Asian American community, contact Asian Americans Advancing Justice: advancingjustice-aajc.org/covid19
San Francisco Arts Commission
Director of Cultural Affairs
City and County of San Francisco