Northeast New Jersey Legal Services is committed to the effort to dismantle systems of racism and oppression and will continue to protect, amplify, and work to achieve this goal.
We stand in solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community across the nation, condemning the hate crimes that are being perpetuated by white supremacist and misogynist ways of thinking and acting. To claim that these acts were not racially motivated misses the point and perpetuates harm on our AAPI communities.
We acknowledge that these hate crimes did not begin with COVID-19 and have existed in this country since its inception. AAPI organizations are right to remind us again of their communities’ long history of exploitation in the United States. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1800s to the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. From the post-9/11 surveillance and targeting of Muslim and South Asian communities that we witnessed and lived so deeply in each of the three counties we serve here in New Jersey. And now, to the scapegoating of the Chinese community during the COVID pandemic – we must not lose sight of the thread between these chapters from our past and the brutal attacks on AAPI elders in the months leading up to the deplorable murders of last week.
Together with other Legal Services organizations and fellow community members and activists in New Jersey and across the country, Northeast New Jersey Legal Services stands in solidarity with our friends, colleagues and families to combat the rising tide of racial discrimination and violence against the AAPI community. We stand resolved to continue our efforts to confront injustice wherever it exists in order to assure that everyone in this country is afforded equal justice under the law.