Statement on the Murders in Atlanta
CHICAGO – March 18, 2021 – The Chicago Theological Seminary community stands in solidarity with the Asian/Asian American community during this time of unbearable grief. The targeted killings of six Asian women in Atlanta was horrific and reveals the lethal flood of anti-Asian hate sweeping across our nation. We offer prayers for the two others murdered but are clear their deaths were because of the proximity to these women. We, in no uncertain terms condemn not only the mass murderer at whose hands these lives were lost, we condemn the hate-filled ideology which made these women targets in the first place. For too long the American tendency to see and treat Asian and Asian American people and communities as eternal others has led to discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and violence. The murderer of these women was an embodiment of the lethal malice which courses through our society and which has deep roots.
This belief that Asian and Asian Americans are ever foreigners, having little claim on the protections and compassion of our society must end!
It is not enough to simply condemn the damnable actions of a young white male acting lethally on aggrievement rooted in toxic masculinity and racial animus. These types of killings have become commonplace. We must stand with our Asian and Asian American kin across this nation in a solidarity that is material, political, and healing. It falls to people of goodwill to be specific in our solidarity. While certainly there has been a flood of violent white supremacy washing over our nation that touches many non-white communities, we must be clear about this specific assault.
We, the Chicago Theological Seminary community call first on all people of goodwill to do what is in your power to support and join Asian and Asian American people and communities as they defend themselves against these wraiths from hell taking flesh, who are assaulting them. We further call on governments at every level—municipal, state, and federal, to take immediate actions to meet this onslaught. Finally, we call of people of all walks of life to condemn these murders in a way that stops their normalization.
We all deserve a society that is better than one which gives us these wretched moments of grief.
Stephen G. Ray Jr.
Chicago Theological Seminary