AAS Department Solidarity Statement: Lunar New Year Tragedies
January 26, 2023
We mourn the loss of eighteen lives lost due to gun violence in our community.
On Saturday, January 21, 2023, Monterey Park – a vibrant Asian American ethnic enclave near Los Angeles – a gunman killed twelve people and wounded nine others. This mass shooting took place on the first day of our Lunar New Year, a special time for Asian communities worldwide when families reunite and usher in the new year with traditional dishes, children look forward to receiving money in lucky red envelopes, and communities share warm wishes. Closely following this tragedy, on Monday, January 23, 2023, another gunman killed seven people in Half Moon Bay. We mourn each victim – Asian and Latinx – and sympathize with their families.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, the greater Asian American community, and all others who are victims of senseless violence.
As the people accused of these shootings have been identified as older Asian immigrant men with possible mental health issues, we also want to acknowledge the complexity of emotions that Asian American communities may experience.
We applaud the work that individuals and organizations have done to destigmatize mental health issues within Asian American communities. It is our hope that these incidents remind us that our communities are strong and that we will work through this together. On this Lunar New Year, let us remember to reach out to one another and support each other with love, kindness, courage, and hope.