A Statement from Executive Director Julie Packard on the recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans:
In recent months, our Asian American and Pacific Islander neighbors, friends and colleagues have been the target of a new wave of hate crimes, ranging from ethnic slurs to acts of physical violence. I am deeply saddened by these words and acts, and the pain they’re inflicting on innocent people. They diminish us all, and they are antithetical to the values we embrace at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
For much of our history, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have not been welcomed as equal participants in the American dream. Despite their rich contributions to the life and culture of Monterey County, California and the nation, they’ve been the target of racist acts of hate and violence.
The Aquarium is located next to what was once a Chinese fishing village — a village destroyed by arson in the early 20th century, an act motivated by hate and fear. Our Japanese-American friends and neighbors were stripped of their possessions, their livelihoods and their freedom during World War II when they were incarcerated in prison camps. For decades, people from China and Japan were the targets of federal anti-immigration laws and subject to discriminatory laws and practices that kept them from participating fully in American society.
We’ve made such great progress over the years, yet recent events remind us that we still have much work to do. At Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are committed to doing our part to speak out against racism.