MCCA’s Statement on Violence Against Asian Americans
Last night, a gunman in the Atlanta area cut short the lives of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent—and shattered any doubt that we’re in the midst of a significant rise in anti-Asian violence even though detractors share a different story for the recent shootings.
This moment didn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s the most recent flashpoint in a long history of turning Asian Americans into the “other”: from the California Supreme Court designating the Chinese as “a race of people whom nature has marked as inferior” in the 19th century; to the U.S. government rounding up Japanese Americans into concentration camps during World War II; to the 1982 murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin over anger at the success of the Japanese auto industry. Each of those incidents contributed to last night.
For lawyers, moments like these are inflection points. They remind us why we got into this work: to bring justice. It’s the reason why lawyers rushed to jailhouses to protect Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., why they rushed to airports to protect immigrants and more recently, why we asked for law enforcement authorities to bring justice swiftly when George Floyd was murdered. We are trained to leave things better than we found them; it’s in our DNA.
This moment is another inflection point. For Asian American lawyers, this is a chance to break down stereotypes and speak up against racism and hate, in our firms and in our companies—and to be part of not just the conversation, but the solution. For other lawyers of color and allies, this is a chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Asian American community and demand systemic change because too often these issues do not receive the attention they deserve. And it’s a chance for all of us to live up to our charge as lawyers—and to build the diverse, equitable and inclusive country we know we can, and must be.
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) is the preeminent voice on diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal industry. It was founded in 1997 with a mission to recruit, retain and promote diverse attorneys by publishing research to providing professional development opportunities to offering advisory services. Today, MCCA empowers members with the tools needed to disrupt business as usual – and to blaze a path forward for their company, industry and corporate America.