LOS ANGELES - At the start of May 2021, which is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Transgender Advisory Chair Karina Samala released the following statement:
I have been a community leader together with all the wonderful Transgender Advisory Council and transgender community members for several decades. The targeting of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic is no different than the hate crimes and senseless violence we have experienced towards the LGBTQ community on the streets of Hollywood and beyond - rooted in ignorance, fear and mob-mentally hatred.
I am proud to be an Asian American, I am proud to be a Transgender woman, and I am proud to stand against the bigotry and ignorance behind the attacks on the Asian American and Pacific Islander community during this covid-19 pandemic.
The Asian community is a vital and important segment of our population here in Los Angeles, and today is facing its greatest challenge fighting the increased level of racism and hate crimes during this coronavirus pandemic. Asians are being blamed and targeted by racist fear-mongers for covid-19, but this hate and exclusion is not new. Asian Americans have faced discrimination and exclusion throughout history, and this is only the latest chapter.
These unacceptable attacks must not stand. As members of this community, we must fight harder more than ever to expose the verbal and physical attacks we are suffering and demand proper punishment and just against them.
We must report these crimes and expand worldwide awareness, increase pressure on our local law enforcement agencies and encourage everyone, Asian and non-Asian, to stand up, speak out and stop any hate crimes and hate incidents they see or hear about. We will succeed together in stopping discrimination against our people. Report hate by calling 2-1-1 or find information at civilandhumanrights.lacity.org/stophate.
We are all in this fight together!
- Karina Samala, Chair, City of Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council