Emilio Varanini, President; Betty Williams, Chair; Ona Alston Dosunmu, CEO and Executive Director
Core to CLA’s mission is the promotion of fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law. Individuals in our society cannot enjoy either if they are targeted for violence and unable to conduct their daily lives based on their race or ethnicity. CLA had planned to address the rising tide of violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in our April eNews. We cannot wait another day to offer our full-throated condemnation of the rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community.
Unfortunately, the nation has seen an increase in hate crimes against the AAPI community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While anti-Asian racism is not new to America, rhetoric referring to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin has exacerbated matters. Denouncing violence against the AAPI community is particularly important for lawyers in California as the state with the largest AAPI community in the continental U.S. But condemnation is not enough. We challenge our entire membership and the entire bar in the state to interrupt bias of any sort when we encounter it. In simpler terms: we must speak up and step up for justice.