Dear ABOTA Chapter Members:
It is with a heavy heart but great hope that we share the Statement that ABOTA National issued today. This past year, we have witnessed increasing violence against individuals of Asian descent, including vicious attacks on elderly Asian Americans right here in the Bay Area. The racist sentiments have been insidious, beginning as harassment and escalating to killing. It cannot be ignored that these acts of bigotry strip away human dignity and erode our sacred bonds of humanity.
As guardians charged with preserving and promoting the Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial, we recognize that inequality outside the courtroom means inequality inside the courtroom. All members of our justice system – plaintiffs, claimants, defendants, advocates, jurors, court staff, judicial officers – deserve equal protection and a level playing field in a safe forum. Our own trial lawyers cannot effectively advocate in a climate already suffused with discrimination and bias. We therefore raise our voices and stand up for our fellow ABOTANs, who during these times of despicable animus are overcoming prejudice due to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, and gender.
As ABOTA trial lawyers committed to equal justice for all in a vibrant and civil democracy, we are voices for the Asian victims who have been subjected to bullying, intimidation, aggression and violence. We resonate ABOTA National’s declaration that all forms of racism, xenophobia and misogyny, whether explicit or implicit, conscious or unconscious, individual or institutional, against any person are intolerable.
As human beings, friends and allies to all who are suffering from the recent spate of anti-Asian racism, bias and xenophobia, we express our grief and extend the comfort of our support and alliance. By standing up and speaking up, we encourage our community here and throughout the world that silence is not an option. Bobby Kennedy expressed it best in his Cape Town speech in 1966: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”