Stand for Community: Denounce Hate Attack

Stand for Community: Denounce Hate Attack

The pressures in this pandemic and misinformation from a spiteful administration has brought out the worst in some people with increased acts of hate against our Asian community members. The day I wrote this a violent hate crime happened at a local grocery store. 

An angered and deranged White man verbally and physically attacked an elderly couple who were in their car. The elderly Asian couple was in their 70s. The angry man verbally abused them and punched the elderly man in the face. The altercation was witnessed and reported to me by a local resident.

In response, some have asked to hold an anti-hate vigil. I am not surprised. Alamedans come together quickly to repel the vestiges of hate and of violence from our community. I had previously organized and supported vigils in the midst of the racial and religious hate crimes and attacks on Alameda High Schhol with the noose, at city hall in solidarity with our Jewish community and our All Faith Coalition after the local synagogue attack and the synagogue shootings, and after the attacks upon our Muslim community members.

I know vigils. And this is a time to act with love and with empathy, not a time to grieve. My heart goes out to the elderly couple. This attack on our Asian community is a hateful act that cannot stand.

Yes, we must rapidly respond as a community to this belligerent hate attack. Yes, we need to come together now to create statements and acts of support, and to vocally advocate for a better, kinder more respectful community and provide a more welcoming environment. Yes, we can “stand for community” by denouncing hate. 

But in the end, we must each do the things that demonstrate what we stand for. For our actions speak louder than words. And love lives forever resounding as an echo in the soul. We cannot let one bad actor define what we are against. We cannot ourselves embrace an anger “against” this person or this act of hate. For we can and must “be the solution.” We can contribute by acting on and showing kindness and caring in our community.

Our public acts of kindness and of love have demonstrable impact on others in need of positive supports. These daily acts make a difference. Yes, these acts can and must be coupled with our care for all in our community, like increasing support for our social services, community dinners for our unhoused persons or other services that begin to address the mental health issues for others so that they no longer fester within as confused or hateful emotions.

This is how we come together as an island community. This is what we stand for. 

Let us choose to continue to live practicing these positive acts of kindness and of caring as our living response to the community we seek and to ultimately define who we are, as Alamedans.

Amos White is an Alameda resident and active community member working for a better Alameda, serving on the Alameda All Faiths Coalition, Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda, Encinal High School Athletic Boosters and 100K Trees for Humanity.