The Mayor and City Councilors of Eugene recognize and condemn the murders in Atlanta of six women of Asian descent and two others as a racist act. We further recognize that acts of verbal abuse and violence are being directed at people who identify or appear Asian in our community and country. This is happening during a time when some are blaming people of Asian descent for COVID-19 and believing they should not even be here in the United States.
We extend public sympathy to the friends and family of the victims and share their grief. Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyan Jung Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yuan and Paul Andre Michels now join a shameful list of those killed because of race-based hatred.
These recent murders are only one example of a long history of anti-Asian sentiment. Asian and Pacific Islanders in our country have faced a perpetual otherness that has made them targets of legalized exclusion, internment, discrimination, and violence. Asian women in particular are portrayed as exotic, foreign and hyper-sexualized objects in our media and art. This combination of otherness and sexualization creates a dehumanization of Asian women that encourages harassment and violence.
We send a strong message that hate and bias do not have a place here, and we are committed to doing all we can to end all forms of hate crimes in our community. It is not enough to be outraged about murders in Atlanta, we must also combat racism and discrimination faced every day.
We call on our community to join us in using your voices to condemn anti-Asian speech that perpetuates the othering of Asian people and supports white supremacy. This includes speech that:
- imitates accents or slanted eyes
- jokes about differences in eating habits and customs
- sexualizes Asian women or emasculates Asian men
- accepts or voices statements like “where are you really from” or “go back to your own country”
If you witness an act of violence against anyone, call 911.
Eugene is home to a diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander-Americans and people of Asian descent who live here to work and learn. They are our family, friends, neighbors, business owners and co-workers. People of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have been a part of the Eugene community since its earliest days and continue to be a vital part of who we are. Each one of us has the ability to promote inclusiveness, celebrate diversity, support all fellow community members, prevent the spread of misinformation, and reject hate and bias.
Mayor Lucy Vinis
Councilor Emily Semple, Ward 1
Councilor Matt Keating, Ward 2
Councilor Alan Zelenka, Ward 3
Councilor Jennifer Yeh, Ward 4
Councilor Mike Clark, Ward 5
Councilor Greg Evans, Ward 6
Councilor Claire Syrett, Ward 7
Councilor Randy Groves, Ward 8