‘Speak Out’ Against Hate: Princeton Mayor On Anti-Asian Violence
Mayor Mark Freda asked Princetonians to celebrate diversity “that exists within our country.”
By Sarah Salvadore, Patch
PRINCETON, NJ — Princeton Mayor Mark Freda on Thursday condemned the attacks against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and called for Princetonians to “speak out against such behavior.”
Freda made a statement to Patch following the shootings at three spas in the Atlanta area, Georgia on Tuesday that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
“Recent racist acts against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community call for all of us to clearly and loudly speak out against such behavior,” said Freda.
Over the past year, advocates have expressed their concern over the rise of anti-Asian violence, which they say has been growing since the pandemic.
In March 2020, the group Stop AAPI Hate was formed to help prevent discrimination against the community.
The group recently released a report saying they received 3,795 reports of hate incidents between March 19, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021.
Acknowledging this report, Freda said, “Acts of discrimination, hate crimes and physical attacks are not part of our core values as Americans.”
“It is distressing to see hate and discrimination against any group of people living in the United States.”
According to the website Data USA, the Asian community is one of the five largest ethnic groups living in Princeton, NJ making up 16.4% of the population.
The mayor asked Princetonians to celebrate diversity “that exists within our country.”
“As individuals, and as a nation, we need to commit ourselves to reverse the increased violence, racism and discrimination that has become too common over the last year.”
On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire at three massage parlors across the metro Atlanta area. Police have charged Robert Aaron Long, 21, with the shootings.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said Wednesday the gunman admitted to the killings and blamed the massage parlors for fueling his sex addiction.