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“My reaction was shocked, not surprised,” said Plata, who explained that civic outreach to AAPI communities has been historically low.
atanapakdee. A grandfather recognized by his neighbors for his early morning walks through the Anza Vista neighborhood in San Francisco, Ratanapakdee became recognized across the country as one prominent face among far too many victims of anti-Asian violence. On this day in 2021, Ratanapakdee was spontaneously shoved to the ground while out for a morning walk, sustaining injuries from which he would not recover. As one particularly horrific incident in what has become an undeniable surge in anti-Asian hate throughout the nation, Ratanapakdee’s death struck a resounding chord among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities–one that still rings true today, just two weeks after the killing of Michelle Alyssa Go in New York City.
Earlier this month, I traveled to Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 2012 mass shooting at a Sikh gurdwara, where seven people were murdered by a white supremacist. As we memorialized the victims – Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suveg Singh Khattra, Satwant Singh Kaleka and Baba Punjab Singh – I was moved by the strength of their families, the Gurdwara congregants, and members of the Oak Creek community in the face of a horrific, hateful killing.