ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) today issued this statement in response to dramatic increases in acts of violence against Asian Americans.
“As violent attacks against Asian Americans have increased in frequency at an alarming rate over this past year of the COVID pandemic, the staggering cruelty of these acts is matched by the grim reality that surrounds it: these cowardly and brutal acts are not random. This violence is a consequence of the climate that was created by former President Trump, who repeatedly denigrated China and inferred that Asian people were somehow to blame for the pandemic. It was a complete failure of leadership that he did not condemn these attacks; instead he intentionally used derogatory terms and misinformation, delivered over mass media platforms, to associate the COVID-19 pandemic with a place and a people, using repetition and rhetoric that effectively stoked hatred against Asian people.
“When we see people of Asian descent going about their daily activities being assaulted, even murdered, we must have action to hold the perpetrators accountable and also to condemn the words that provided a motivation for these hateful acts.
“At the Center for Victims of Torture, we are deeply familiar with the tactics of despotic regimes that seek to foment hate against populations for their own political gain – a particularly egregious tactic when used during times of crisis. The United States has an ugly history of systemic racism committed against Asian populations through policies and laws. These acts, including the Chinese Exclusion Act and the World War II internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps, were similarly enacted through power. We call upon our nation’s political leaders to forcefully condemn these attacks against Asian Americans and for the perpetrators to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” – Curt Goering, CVT executive director
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org