AAP leaders are speaking out against racism targeting people who are Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and urging pediatricians to take action.
The AAP Board of Directors Executive Committee and Board Committee on Equity penned the perspective piece “Immunizing Against Hate: Overcoming Asian American and Pacific Islander Racism,” which was published today in Pediatrics and lays out members’ concerns about the toll racism is taking on children and their families.
“Addressing the pervasive and harmful impact of structural and interpersonal racism on child health is at the heart of the AAP’s Equity Agenda, the goal of which is to assure equitable systems of care that promote optimal health for all children,” said Wendy S. Davis, M.D., FAAP, chair of the Board Committee on Equity. “As we followed the news and heard from our Asian American members about their own suffering and that of their patients, remaining silent was simply not an option. This statement evolved as we sought multiple channels through which we could support our colleagues and the children and families in our care.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, then-AAP President Sara “Sally” H. Goza, M.D., FAAP, warned about the threat of Asian American racism. Those fears have been borne out over the past year with surging rates of discrimination.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose nearly 150% in 2020, according to a study of police department statistics from 16 U.S. cities. Stop AAPI Hate has documented nearly 3,800 instances of discrimination against people of AAPI descent since March 2020, including verbal harassment, physical assault and online harassment.
In addition to enduring racism during the pandemic, people who are Asian, Black and other minority ethnicities are at greater risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19.
“The alarming statistics and the trauma behind them illustrate that America is again waging a battle against two pandemics: COVID-19 and racism,” AAP board members wrote.
Read the complete article at: AAP News
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