Racism Has No Place in Our Country
Below is the text of an email from Head of School Tim Seeley to GSA students on March 19, 2021 in response to the killings in Atlanta.
You may have noticed that our flags are at half-mast today. This is to honor and mourn the eight people who were killed by a gunman this week at three massage parlors in and around Atlanta. Six of the eight were of Asian descent. The killer is in custody, and law enforcement is working on understanding what happened and what motivated him.
Although we cannot say for sure why the killer committed these murders, these killings of six Asian women come in the midst of the dramatic increase in violence against people of Asian descent that has occurred in the past year across our country. Law enforcement is pursuing the possibility that these are hate crimes. According to the California State University Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, there were 122 incidents of anti-Asian American hate crimes in 16 of the most populous U.S. cities in 2020, an increase of almost 150% over the previous year.
Racial hatred runs deeply counter to American values, and it saddens me that yet again I find myself writing something to all of you about an event in our country that is so contrary to the tolerance and acceptance that our country is supposed to promote. Racism has no place in our country. I hope that all of you are committed to helping our country become a place less defaced by racism and its legacies, and will make the GSA community as welcoming and as safe for all as possible. Although the pandemic and all its impacts on our school have meant we have done less this year as a community on promoting equity than I had hoped, I remain committed to that work, and to building more and more into GSA’s program elements that do so.