On Tuesday, March 16, eight people were killed and one was critically wounded during a shooting rampage in the Atlanta area. Six of the women lost in the attack were of Asian descent. This tragedy comes just as a new study finds this: The number of violent acts committed against Asian Americans has increased more than 150 percent in major U.S. cities since March 2020.
Tuesday’s violence is among many incidents that we have witnessed emerge in recent years from a national climate of increasing intolerance.
This is unacceptable, and we must do better.
I stand with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities at this difficult moment. I stand with everyone for whom this week’s events evoke a familiar anguish.
Those of us in health care have to care deeply about how social injustice affects our daily lives, practices, and profession. We live in a diverse population. Our patients encompass diverse groups. Our profession is becoming increasingly more diverse. It is our obligation to recognize and confront actions that harm the fabric of our society.
The American Dental Association counts integrity, diversity, and inclusion among its core values. As its president, I remind everyone that we are trusted health care professionals who should first strive to be compassionate citizens and good neighbors. That we should treat all people with decency and respect. That we should denounce every act of violence and incivility that sows division in our nation.
All of us are accountable for creating a peaceful and just society. Let’s work together and not against each other.
Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D.
President, American Dental Association