We Must Stop White Supremacy and Anti-Asian Hate
PHI condemns outright the recent shootings in the Atlanta area that took the lives of eight individuals, including six women of Asian descent: Daoyou Feng, 44; Hyun J. Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Soon C. Park, 74; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; and Yong A. Yue, 63. (Another person, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, was wounded.) We offer our deepest condolences to their families and communities and extend ourselves in solidarity.
As a broad range of experts have expressed this week, the disturbing rise in white supremacist violence and anti-Asian violence—which emerges from a long, sordid history of structural racism aimed at Asian Americans—harms not just the direct targets of that violence but the entire Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) community. In this spirit, our collective response to these murders should center and support API individuals—and API women in particular—who live and work within our communities and organizations.
PHI’s research shows that API workers account for seven percent of the country’s direct care workforce, or nearly 321,000 workers. This vital segment of the direct care workforce has grown rapidly in recent years, is largely made up of women and immigrants from various countries, and, like the entire direct care workforce, struggles with poverty-level compensation, among other challenges. To support API workers in direct care, we must transform the quality of their jobs, which includes providing targeted supports that address structural racial and gender barriers in their communities. We must address the increase in white supremacist, anti-Asian, and misogynist hate and violence that they face.
To help challenge racist misconceptions and change the cultural mindset, we must also shine the spotlight on these diverse workers. Recently, PHI featured the stories of several API workers as a part of our new report on California’s direct care workforce, thanks to our partnership with The ICA Group and the Filipino Workers Center. These stories illustrate the enormous challenges these workers face on the job, especially during a pandemic, while introducing us to four amazing individuals. We encourage you to take a moment to read about these workers: Marichu Buenaventura, Allen Galeon, Kao Sapehan, and Teresita Satar.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance, a frequent collaborator on direct care workforce issues, recently Tweeted: “The culture of racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans that exists in this country has deadly consequences. Recognizing that is a crucial step to ending this pattern and working to #StopAsianHate.” We affirm this statement and commit to working with all our partner organizations in the aging, workforce, and long-term care fields to co-create a safe and equitable world for all of us.