Los Angeles Zoo Statement on the Rise in Violence Against the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino reports that from 2019 to 2020, Los Angeles experienced a 114% rise in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities (AAPI). Here in Los Angeles, we’ve seen the vandalism of the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo; the assault on a 27- year-old Korean American Air Force veteran in Koreatown; the attack on a 51-year-old Asian American man waiting for a bus in Rosemead; and more than 240 other hate crimes against the AAPI community (according to STOP AAPI Hate). The racist attack in Atlanta this week which left eight people dead, including six Asian women, is part of this growing trend of these hateful and violent acts, impacting cities and communities across our country. This must stop right now and we must address the long-standing struggle for social justice for all, together.

The Los Angeles Zoo is committed to working with our staff, volunteers, community members, and partners to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for everyone within our gates and beyond. We all deserve to be safe from violence, a privilege that has historically not been afforded to BIPOC communities. The AAPI community has faced oppression, scapegoating, and marginalization in the United States since the country’s formation, which has seen spikes throughout history. It is our work to combat systemic racism and discrimination in all forms as we work to ensure a world rooted in justice, equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion for everyone. Los Angeles is a microcosm of cultures, of which Asian American and Pacific Islanders have a long history and have made meaningful and significant contributions.

We must all do our part to stand up to racism and xenophobia. To find out how you can do more to support and actively combat racism against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, visit this free resource from hollaback! (https://www.ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/) for their workshop on Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American Harassment and Xenophobia.

The Los Angeles Zoo is committed to using our power for progress and to ending oppression in all forms, and we stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities now and at all times.

Author: LA Zoo