WID is deeply saddened and disgusted by the recent violence towards Asian people and the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the United States. Anti-Asian violence has increased dramatically over the past year as hateful, racist narratives around the origins of the coronavirus pandemic have taken hold. According to the New York Times, members of the AAPI community were the targets of nearly 3,800 violent crimes across the US, last year alone. WID grieves with the families, loved ones, and communities in Georgia and those who have been affected by anti-Asian violence across the globe.
As an organization that represents the global disability community, it is incumbent upon WID to join with all who fight to eradicate racism, xenophobia and injustice. A society that dismisses violence against women or people of color as the result of a perpetrator having “a bad day” minimizes the crime and the responsibility to systematically address racism and misogyny.
With every mass shooting, we see justifications made that the shooting is because of mental illness, which is a dangerous myth. Racism is not a mental illness, and to excuse it as such prevents systemic changes to abolish racism in all of its forms, while painting people with mental health disabilities as violent and dangerous. People with mental illness are far more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of violence. Racism, misogyny and ableism are systems that enable one another, perpetuating the belief that some lives are not worth saving, protecting, or honoring.
WID acknowledges all of these facets of this tragedy as we strive to better serve and represent marginalized people with disabilities around the world. We stand, sit, march, and roll alongside all who join us in fighting for social justice for all disabled people, and all who are impacted by racism.