Towards a Peaceful and Just Society
March 22, 2021
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
About the ADA
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org