The following statement is issued by Stacey Metcalfe, Chair, and Tony Howard, President & CEO, of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, regarding acts of violence, hate and bigotry towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI):
“On behalf of the 1,100 members of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, our Board of Directors, and staff, we express our sincere sorrow and grief at the senseless murder of eight innocent people during this week’s mass-shooting in the Atlanta, Georgia suburbs. These victims enjoyed lives of irreplaceable value and human dignity, and we honor those lives as we pray for their families’ peace and comfort in the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy.
We also wish to convey our disgust and rejection of the increasing rise of hateful acts of bigotry that have been perpetrated against our Asian-American and Pacific Islander sisters and brothers across the Nation, particularly since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These acts are an attack on all people of good faith who cherish America’s founding principles, including the belief that we all deserve the right to live our lives absent the fear and intimidation that, for too many in our communities of color, are an ever-present condition.
While we all come from different backgrounds, we share the same community. Hate and racism, and their violent expression, have no place in our Country and deserve no space or comfort to exist.
It is our obligation to make Loudoun better. We invite our fellow business and community leaders to join, or even initiate the often-difficult conversations that are necessary to combat bigotry with increased understanding, fellowship and belief in our shared humanity.”