Maplewood Memorial Library Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

by villagegreennj
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From the Maplewood Memorial Library:

The Maplewood Memorial Library is an institution devoted to strengthening community and nourishing the mind. As a public library, we represent the highest democratic ideals of our country: we uphold virtues of equality and community. When these principles come under assault by a rising tide of racism, xenophobia, and hate crimes, we must speak out forcefully to defend the core principles of U.S. democracy.

We reject bigotry anchored in white male supremacy. We denounce escalating violence towards peoples of Asian descent. We are concerned by harassment and hate crimes, reported and unreported, against peoples with Asian backgrounds. It is painful that these recent hate crimes have targeted vulnerable elders and women in the Asian community in particular, and have enveloped communities already suffering from a relentless pandemic with new fear and uncertainty. We acknowledge the linkages of these attacks to ongoing anti-Black violence and entrenched patterns of discrimination in our society.

As an institution devoted to creating a more just and literate society, the Maplewood Memorial Library will redouble our efforts to correct misinformation, to deepen historical understanding, and to build empathy and understanding through literature, media and art. Our library continues to play a vital role in fostering knowledge and understanding, and catalyzing dialogue, reflection and deliberation.

While the recent attacks on peoples of Asian descent in the U.S. have been deliberately mobilized by misinformation on social media, campaigns by extremist organizations, and, unfortunately, by elected leaders who all too often seek to divide rather than unite, we recognize the historic depth of racism in this country towards Asian peoples. We will work, through our programming and collections, to shed light on this history in an effort to dismantle deep rooted biases.

We believe that we all deserve to live with a sense of security and belonging, and without the threat of violence. We should all feel safe in our neighborhoods. We stand in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities and will continue in our work to build a more just and equitable society.

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