For immediate release:
Philadelphia, PA, Wednesday, March 24 – The Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (AACCGP) was established to promote and foster relationships between the Asian American and non-Asian communities.
AACCGP is appalled and strongly condemns the recent increase in violence against Asians. Racial discrimination and bigotry against Asians have existed in this country for many years. While our country has overturned legislation and laws targeting Asians (such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and Executive Order 9066 that placed Japanese Americans in internment camps), Asians have and continue to be easy targets. They have been scapegoats for ills and problems in our country for no other reason than looking different, speaking a foreign language, or observing cultural norms that many non-Asians do not understand and do not accept.
Most Asians are law-abiding, hardworking, and industrious. Like most other ethnic immigrants to this country, Asian immigrants have come to this country to escape oppressive governments with the hope of finding a better life for their families and pursue the so-called American dream. Asian immigrants, like many other immigrants, have and will continue to make substantial contributions to our regional and national economy by engaging in business enterprises and creating jobs through innovation and hard work. The contributions of Asian American businesses to the US economy have approached a trillion dollars.
Being the unwarranted scapegoat for the pandemic has increased anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes, which further burdens the Asian community with an unnecessary fear of safety and mobility. With many Asian-American businesses located in our main urban areas, we also fell prey to looting and rioting during the summer of 2020 and recent Asian employee murders in Atlanta. Shutting down stores due to fear of intimidation and violence has negative economic consequences not only to the Asian community but also to the regional and national economies. Asian-owned businesses and communities have experienced the same problems and challenges as non-Asian businesses and communities. Blaming Asians for the pandemic must stop.
Legislation on hate crimes alone is not sufficient to deter anti-Asian sentiments. The community’s proactive and collective efforts are needed to educate and reject xenophobia, racism, and stereotyping.
AACCGP will work closely with the business community to promote social and economic equity regardless of origin, race, religion, or color. AACCGP rejects and will work to end all forms of discrimination that are the root cause of hate crimes.
Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia
(215) 642 – 2333