Japantown community to show solidarity with victims of post-election hate crimes

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SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — Community organizations in San Francisco’s Japantown will gather in the Peace Plaza on Tuesday evening to show solidarity with minorities targeted with hate crimes since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

The 6 p.m. event, “United for Compassion: A Japantown Community Gathering,” will feature a candlelight vigil, speeches, resources to report hate crimes and a Wall of Compassion where community members can write supportive messages.

“Since and before the elections, there has been a rise in incidences of hate throughout the country, which appear to be emboldened by the misogynistic, xenophobic and racist rhetoric of the Trump campaign,” Nichi Bei Foundation president Kenji Taguma said in a statement.

The Southern Poverty Law Center documented 701 hateful incidents nationwide in the week following the election, with the greatest number reported the day after the election and the number of reports declining throughout the week, apart from an increase on Monday.

Over 200 of the incidents were described as anti-immigrant and 151 as anti-black, according to SPLC officials.

“In a show of unity with targeted communities – including Muslims, Arab-Americans, immigrants, Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, LGBTQ persons, Native Americans and women – the Japanese-American and Japantown community is taking a clear and unequivocal stand against hate, while addressing the fear that has shrouded our communities,” Taguma said.

The Bay Area Day of Remembrance Consortium is presenting the event with sponsorship from the San Francisco chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens League, the Japanese Community Youth Council, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and the Nakayoshi Young Professionals, along with the Nichi Bei Foundation.

“As a community that knows all too well the effects of wartime hysteria, racial prejudice and the failure of political leadership, the Japanese-American community responds, using our own experience as a stark
reminder of the effects of the deprivation of civil liberties,” members of the Bay Area Day of Remembrance Consortium said in a statement.

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