Today, we commemorate the heroes and lives we lost to the tragedy of September 11th eighteen years ago. We remember the firefighters, police officers, reporters, photojournalists, and civilians who risked their own lives in order to assist others. We remember Betty Ann Ong, a Chinese American flight attendant, whose call to ground control to report the hijacking while aboard American Airlines Flight 11 resulted in the unprecedented closure of airspace and thwarted any other possible attacks. And while we remember the heroes of that tragic day, we also remember and recognize how our community was socially impacted by the event.
Since 9/11, racial profiling and racially-motivated hate incidents against the Arab, South Asian, Muslim, and Sikh communities have increased five times. The Asian American and Pacific Islander community continues to be subject to persecution as we are scapegoated as threats to national security. Today, the Chinese American community is painted in broad strokes as spies for China -- in research organizations and institutions of higher education. This blanket racial profiling is harmful and unfair for the majority who are falsely accussed and targeted because they are ethnically Chinese. OCA continues to fight this fearmongering, discrimination, and hate through education and a national task force dedicated to public awareness raising and advocacy on fair and appropriate investigative processes to policy leaders.
As we keep the victims of 9/11 and their families in our thoughts today, we should also remember not to let the fear and prejudice that drives such hate crimes affect our relationships with each other. We must work together to fight for justice, equity, and equality in this nation.
Join OCA in a day of remembrance to our country as we seek common ground toward our fight for a more just society.