(Chicago, IL: March 23, 2021) “AAPI wants to express our deep concerns and anguish about the violence the nation has witnessed against people of Asian origin,” Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President of American Association of Physicians of India Origin (AAPI) said here today. In a statement issued here Dr. Jonnalagadda condemned the incidents of growing violence, and said, “We at AAPI, the largest ethnic medical organization in the nation, urge the federal, state and local Governments to make all the efforts possible to prevent violence against Asian Americans and all those innocent people around the nation who continue to suffer due to violence, harassment and discrimination.”
A coalition tracking reports of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans says it has received at least 3,795 firsthand complaints since last year. Stop AAPI Hate began tracking violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in March last year.
From then through the end of 2020, Stop AAPI Hate received a total of 3,292 complaints from all 50 states and Washington, DC, according to a Stop AAPI Hate news release. There were at least 503 anti-Asian hate incidents reported between January 1 and February 28 according to the group’s latest report, released last week.
Quoting the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Dr. Sajani Shah, Chair of AAPI BOT, said, “AAPI recognizes that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set out therein, without distinction of any kind, in particular as to race, color or national origin. All human beings are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law against any discrimination and against any incitement to discrimination.”
While recognizing the pain and sufferings of the people impacted by the increasing violence and harassment against Asians and Asians Americans, especially in the past few months, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect of AAPI stressed on the need for education. She said, “We commit to educating ourselves about racism that manifests in our own community. We will work to address racism and health disparities through policy and by working with affected communities and the healthcare providers who serve them. Our fate is linked to the fate of our fellow citizens, and our work must include lifting up and supporting all the communities so we can all thrive.”
“We stand in solidarity with peaceful protestors across the nation condemning the increasing violence and harassment against some minority groups,” said Dr. Ravi Kolli, Vice President of AAPI. “As immigrants to the U.S., our families may not always understand this history, but we join in solidarity with the minority communities and call for justice and peace.”
“We are saddened by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse each day. AAPI supports the Bills introduced by two Democratic lawmakers in the House and the Senate calling for the expedited review of hate crimes related to the pandemic,” ,” said Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Secretary of AAPI.
Rep. Grace Meng of New York, who sponsored the bill in the House, said she hopes the legislation tackles the “disgusting pattern of hate” that Asian Americans are facing since the start of the pandemic.
“We thank and applaud President Joe Biden for condemning the hate and discrimination that Asian Americans have faced. We support his call to do what we all as a nation can do to save lives, working with each other, preventing vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans, who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated,” said Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Treasurer of AAPI
President Biden had said, “At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, they’re on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives, and still, still they’re forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it must stop,” he added.
The members of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), an umbrella organization which has nearly 110 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations, with over 37 years of history of dedicated services to their motherland and the adopted land, are appalled at the growing violence against our fellow citizens, Dr. Jonnalagadda said. “We strongly condemn this ongoing violence. And we want immediate action against the culprits, who have been carrying on these criminal acts.” For more information on AAPI, please visit: www.aapiusa.org