On behalf of the Humboldt Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (HAPI), we were heartbroken and enraged by two recent hate filled incidents ("Centro Del Pueblo Sanctuary Garden Sign Vandalized, Vigil Planned," posted July 21; "Anti-Semitic Flyers Left in Arcata Neighborhood," posted July 6). On July 21, at the Jardin Santuario (Sanctuary Garden for the local immigrant community) in Arcata, vandals spray painted "AMERICA US"' over the garden welcome sign. Two weeks ago, anti-Semitic flyers were found in Arcata and surrounding areas. Although these are separate incidents, both were fueled by hatred and ignorance reflecting an increase of such incidents locally and nationally. Nationwide, hate crimes targeting Asian Americans have also risen. HAPI stands in solidarity with Centro del Pueblo, Cooperation Humboldt, the Eureka NAACP and organizations committed to defend all marginalized individuals against all forms of racism and discrimination.
We are encouraged by the overwhelming supportive community and police response to these incidents, but we must do more. These shocking incidents are a wake-up call to our community — while these incidents were perpetrated by individuals who do not represent the majority of our community, we must all address the underlying causes to prevent a hateful culture from taking hold and growing.
We as a society and as a nation can no longer tolerate devaluing the lives of people of color, immigrants, of diverse religious traditions and the LGBTQ+ community. Like a sanctuary garden, our inclusive community as a whole can be a transformative place of sharing, nurturing and growth to the benefit of all. Please find out how you can be involved by checking out the websites of the aforementioned local organizations.
Mitchell Higa, McKinleyville