NJEA’s officers, President Marie Blistan, Vice President Sean M. Spiller and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty, issued this statement condemning the recent violence in Atlanta as well as a larger wave of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders:
“We are angered and saddened by the hateful act of violence that took the lives of eight people in Atlanta yesterday. It is a profound tragedy on its own, but it is also part of a disturbing wave of racially-motivated violence against Asian Americans that must be stopped.
“No one should have to fear for their safety because of how they look, where their family once lived, the language they speak or any of the other differences that a healthy society accepts, honors and celebrates. We condemn the hateful bigotry that alienates us from one another and perpetuates white supremacy. All of us share the responsibility to confront and challenge racist language, actions, structures and institutions before words turn into physical violence and physical violence leads to death.
“We stand in sorrowful solidarity with members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities who are mourning, despairing, angry and fearful today. We stand particularly with our Asian American and Pacific Islander students in this trauma. And we pledge to continue our work with all of our students and our communities at large to counter racism and inequity through education, direct action and advocacy at every level.”