MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Asian American Community is concerned about the rise in hate crimes against Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and wants to bring awareness to the issue.
“I have always been against hate, and I want everyone to work together to improve our society which is why I was thrilled to be hired at the National Civil Rights Museum,” said Beverly Sakauye.
Beverly Sakauye is the museum’s Chief Development Officer, as an Asian-American woman of Japanese descent she says she’s heartbroken by the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
“Given the tenor of this country, given all the systemic racism and especially what’s happened over the past 4 years plus, it’s not unexpected but we need to bring it to the forefront,” she said.
The group, Stop AAPI Hate tracked 3,795 “hate incidents” against the Asian American community between last March and the end of Feb. 2021.
Tuesday’s shooting spree at Atlanta-area massage businesses left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent.
Authorities say the suspect confessed to the shootings but says they are not motivated by race but Sakauye feels otherwise.
“What happened in Atlanta, I know they haven’t really decided if that’s a hate crime, but to me yes, it is, because those spas were targeted.”
Sakauye shared her hope for the future during a conversation with National Civil Rights Museum Chief Marketing Officer, Faith Morris.
“I want people to be aware which they are getting more and more aware, and I want people to band together, people of color because the hate is not just -- right now it’s focused on Asians, it’s not just Asians, it is all people of color,” Sakauye said.
“America’s hate problem persists,” said Faith Morris, the museum’s Chief Marketing & External Affairs Officer. “We know that Blacks have been victims of hate crimes in pretty much every category since the FBI started gathering data more than 20 years ago. We can go back further, 400+ years when Africans were enslaved and brought to America. This nation has experienced extreme hate, a sick culture of bias.”