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MADISON — Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes issued the following statement today on the shootings in Georgia and the anti-Asian racism, violence, and discrimination in our communities.

“I am saddened and outraged by the shootings in Georgia that left eight people dead, including six Asian women. Targeted acts of hatred and violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have been on the rise since the early days of the pandemic, and they have been fueled by racist and xenophobic rhetoric from our former president and other political leaders.

“Although we have seen these events increase over the last year, we must recognize that anti-Asian racism is embedded in our nation’s history—from racist immigration laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act to the evils of Japanese internment, to countless other foreign policy decisions that have devastated Asian and Pacific Islander populations around the globe.

“We must reckon with these realities of our history and our present-day in order to build a state and nation where Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are included, respected, and safe. This means we must do more than just condemn violence—we must also disrupt and call out the ways anti-Asian sentiments shape our language, our jokes, our media coverage, and our policy.

“For the eight souls we lost yesterday, and for the generations of people deserving a world free of hatred and bigotry, we must stand in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and work to rid our society of the racism and white supremacy that has fostered and perpetuated this violence.”

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