The Port of Seattle Commission passed a proclamation today stating that racism against Asians and Asian Americans will not be tolerated in any form, and stands in support of individuals and communities targeted by association with COVID-19. The proclamation urges the public to speak up on behalf of equity, justice, and inclusion as we recognize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
“My colleagues and I are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and frequency of hate crimes and race-based harassment against Asians and the Asian Pacific Islander Communities associated with COVID 19 in King County and throughout the world,” said Sam Cho, Port of Seattle Commissioner. “Our state has long benefited from the diversity of our immigrant population including rich cultural traditions, political and economic contributions, which comes from a history of support for race and social justice for all communities.”
“Anti-Asian sentiment is not new, but it is emboldened in light of COVID-19,” said Toshiko Hasegawa, Executive Director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA). “This crisis requires leadership at every level of government to take a assertive stance against intolerance. CAPAA commends the actions taken by the Port to promote the well-being of all people impacted by this crisis – including the APA community experiencing deep fear during this time of heightened racism and xenophobia.”
The Port of Seattle pledges to not repeat the egregious acts of historic discrimination committed in King County including the incarceration and relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II, the exclusion of Chinese in the 1880’s, and the Muslim Ban of 2017. Recently, the Port of Seattle recognized the negative impact of institutional and structural racism, past and present and responded by creating an office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to address these issues.
Peter McGraw | Maritime Media Officer
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