Annapolis, MD (Arundel.news & AAFA)- Anne Arundel county's Asian American residents don't feel safe according to a statement issued by County Executive Steuart Pittman. In a written release posted Monday 3/29, Pittman promised residents that every report of a hate crime or violence against Asian Americans within Anne Arundel County will be investigated by County police, "whether it meets the legal standard as a crime or not." He encouraged Asian Americans and all other diverse groups to report any incidents of what he calls "bias motivated acts of aggression."
Referencing a recent murder spree in Atlanta, Pittman laid responsibility for a spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans squarely on the shoulders of politicians and the media saying they, "viciously blame Asian countries for the pandemic and for the loss of manufacturing jobs in this country."
Pittman also urged county residents to check in on their Asian American friends and neighbors to discuss the current climate, asserting that, " Those conversations can be awkward, but they are worthwhile."
Read the full statement from Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman below:
"The recent murders of Asian American women in Georgia shocked and angered many of us, including me. I have since been asking Asian American friends a simple question: how are you doing?
Responses vary, and I’m not done asking the question, but a heartbreaking theme has emerged. Too many of our Asian American neighbors don’t feel safe.
Many weren’t surprised that an unstable white American man with a gun chose Asian American women to target with violence. Too many of our Asian American neighbors have been left cringing during the last year while politicians and the media viciously blame Asian countries for the pandemic and for the loss of manufacturing jobs in this country.
Too many of our Asian American neighbors have seen the warning signs - the bias and the hate - that lead directly to the violence that made headlines only recently.
The last two words on the signs at the entrances to this county are more than a slogan. We aspire to be The Best Place - For All, and All absolutely and fully includes our Asian American residents and visitors.
Please know that our Police Department will serve and protect our Asian American neighbors, and will respond to and investigate every incident of hate bias that is reported, whether it meets the legal standard as a crime or not. Please do not tolerate, and do not hesitate to report, every bias-motivated act of aggression against Asian Americans or any other group that makes up the diversity of our county.
Please check in with your Asian American friends. Ask how they are doing when you have time to really listen. Those conversations can be awkward, but they are worthwhile.
It’s only when we communicate that we connect, and our connections have the power to repel the wedges that politicians use to divide us. That makes us stronger, and that makes us better."