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Statement on Behalf of Tompkins County Legislature Denouncing Racialized Violence Against Asian Americans

The Tompkins County Legislature strongly condemns the recent killings of people of Asian descent in Atlanta, GA, and the persistent racialized violence and discrimination that Asian and Asian American people face in our Country and communities.

These despicable and violent acts committed against Asian Communities are part of a pattern that we must all denounce and actively address. We have seen violent and discriminatory acts against Asian and Asian American members of our communities throughout this pandemic, in many cases stoked by unfounded anti-Asian rhetoric. Hate, prejudice, and violence against people of other races and backgrounds have no place in our society – people are not a virus nor a fetish – we must treat one another with dignity and respect.

Amidst the pain that we feel in response to these tragedies it is our hope that we can strive to be a welcoming community of shared understanding, and one that has hard conversations that lead to action. These tragedies and the responses to them by lawmakers are not happening because someone is having a “bad day.” They are rooted in systemic oppression and we need to address them through the lens of systemic change and anti-racist actions.

Our County has resources available, including our Office of Human Rights and an Employee Assistance Program available for County Employees. The Tompkins County Legislature encourages all members of the community to seek support in times of crisis or need, and to report acts of discrimination and violence.

Leslyn McBean-Clairborne
Chairwoman of the Tompkins County Legislature