March 21, 2021
A tragic event occurred last Tuesday in the suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, where 8 people were shot to death by a single gunman. 6 of the victims were women of Asian descent, including Korean.
This act of violence is an example of 3,800 Hate Crimes against Asian-Americans which happened over past year according to “Stop AAPI Hate”, a non-profit organization. Similar statistics showing over 150% increase in the number of violent cases against Asian-Americans since March of 2020 have also been reported in the major cities across the United States.
As one of the ethnic-based healthcare community service organizations, Korean American Dental Association send deepest condolences to all of the families of the victims and formally denounce the hatred, violence, and social injustice based on different gender, race and ethnicity!
Many of our parents and grand-parents have immigrated to the United States because of the “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”. These unalienable rights are what the Declaration says have been given to all humans by their creator, and which governments are created to protect. Furthermore, our Constitution protects our rights regardless of race or gender. Therefore, we should not stay silent about such an injustice in our society. Our community leaders must speak out and work together to abolish systemic racism against people of any color or gender which may lead to such violent and deadly attacks.
As healthcare providers, we have responsibility to provide quality oral care to all of our patients as well as to encourage mutual respect and promote health to everyone in our diverse society. As leaders of our community, we need to tackle the obstacles that are in the way of achieving socially accepting and tolerant environment. I appreciate the American Dental Association for reaching out to me on Friday to discuss ways to improve the situation and to Dr. Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., The President of the ADA, for sending out a message in support of our communities.
“This is unacceptable, and we must do better. I stand with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities at this difficult moment. I stand with everyone for whom this week’s events evoke a familiar anguish.”
“The American Dental Association counts integrity, diversity, and inclusion among its core values. As its president, I remind everyone that we are trusted health care professionals who should first strive to be compassionate citizens and good neighbors. That we should treat all people with decency and respect. That we should denounce every act of violence and incivility that sows division in our nation.”
With such a strong support from the leader of organized dentistry, ADA, let’s work together to create a better society for all of us!