Protecting our Human Rights during the Covid-19 pandemic
Dear Arlington friends and neighbors,
The Arlington Human Rights Commission wishes to thank the entire community for its extraordinary efforts during this difficult time, particularly our first responders and essential workers who strive tirelessly to support us in countless ways. The many unsung heroes in our town government have stepped up in truly heroic fashion. Volunteer groups such as Amazing Arlington and a local chapter of Mutual Aid have sprung up from sheer dedication and generosity. Our town is coming through this crisis with our community spirit on full display.
We like to think that Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate, but communities of color, low income, immigrants, refugees, seniors, and frontline workers are being disproportionately affected. Overwhelmingly, the hotspots are seniors and communities of color, and both suffer the worst outcomes from this disease. However, studies show that both seniors and people of color can achieve better health outcomes with the support of an engaged health advocate (see link below).
We have also seen reports from the FBI and the news media of sharp increases in anti-Asian racism and discrimination across the nation. Two Harvard PhD students have been tracking incidents across our region (link below). Sadly, we are aware of three such reports right here in Arlington. Attacks against our Asian-American neighbors and friends are attacks against all of us, and must not be tolerated.
We applaud the Massachusetts House Asian Caucus and the Black and Latino Caucus in their support for US House Resolution 908, "Condemning All Forms of Anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19", and add our voices to theirs (link below).
We call upon everyone to support the communities that are being most severely affected by this devastating health crisis, and to consider acting as a health advocate for your friends in need.
We encourage you to be vigilant and aware of discrimination, racism and xenophobic behavior in our community.
We ask you to report incidents of violence, discrimination or hate speech immediately to the Arlington Police Department (781-643-1212).
We need you to report incidents to the Arlington Human Rights Commission at https://www.arlingtonhumanrights.org/report-an-incident.
Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building a community where everyone is heard, respected, and protected.
Being a health advocate: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-power-of-a-health-care-advocate
Anti-Asian incident tracking: https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2020/04/15/map-asian-racism-coroanvirus
MA House Asian Caucus and Black and Latino Caucus statement: https://www.mablacklatinocaucus.com/our-work/asian-caucus-mbllc-join-in-supporting-congressional-resolution-condemning-asian-hate-crimes
By Mail: 27 Maple Street
Arlington, MA 02476