Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee sent the following statement on Friday, March 19, 2021:
The events in Atlanta earlier this week are a sickening and painful reminder that racism towards the Asian American Pacific Islander community is not new.
While Anti-Asian rhetoric certainly did not start with the pandemic, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, scapegoating our Asian brothers and sisters became a convenient excuse for making hate crimes and especially unspeakable acts of violence targeting the Asian community at-large even more pervasive.
Sadly, these violent attacks have largely been ignored and even excused — “oh he was having a bad day.” Sound familiar? Targeting and blaming an entire demographic for a pandemic is racist and it needs to stop now.
As a community we must all do our part to speak out against racism and stand up to hate wherever it exists. For our Asian brothers and sisters that begins with acknowledgement and changing the overall tone of our collective conversation. And even while that may not feel like enough, change starts with each and every one of us.
Our heart goes out to the Asian American Pacific Islander community here in Maplewood and beyond. Whether you are a student, a small business owner, a resident or a visitor — you matter and are an essential part of our community. We stand in solidarity with you.
Mayor Frank McGehee
Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis
Committeewoman Nancy Adams
Committeeman Vic De Luca
Committeeman Greg Lembrich