The rising wave of murders, attacks and harassment – including a rash of incidents targeting the elderly – is part of a history of racism and discrimination in the US and abroad.
Sadly, members of AAPI communities have been made to feel like perpetual outsiders whose challenges are often made invisible. The so-called “model minority” myth is a harmful stereotype that masks the reality of life for many: schoolyard and workplace bullying, income and opportunity gaps, and daily confrontations with veiled and overt racism. The pandemic has exacerbated many of these challenges, with hateful rhetoric and baseless claims igniting a surge in hostility that results in humiliation, fear, injury and death. We aspire for a world where targeted communities can find safety and solace in those who can defend and support them.
UBS’s stance is unequivocal: we do not tolerate racism of any kind, and we’re actively working with many community organizations to explore how we might devote resources and energy to protect and strengthen our AAPI communities. Additionally, as part of this month’s Day of Action and Healing, we joined organizations and companies in the US and around the world in expressing outrage, sadness and solidarity with our AAPI communities.
There was a significant day just last week - March 26 marked the anniversary of the passage of the US Naturalization Act of 1790, which prohibited non-white individuals from becoming American citizens at the time. That kind of discrimination should feel like a relic of history, but we all know the sad truth is that prejudice remains in far too many parts of our society. For all who are willing, take this time as an opportunity to show your support for our AAPI colleagues, friends, neighbors and loved ones.
One of the things that made our firm successful during the pandemic was an understanding of our common conditions and our bonds to each other as part of the UBS family. I thank all of you who have reached out to our AAPI colleagues to listen, to support and to be an ally. And to all of our Asian American & Pacific Islander colleagues, clients and partners, please know that UBS and your UBS family stand with you.
By Tom Naratil, Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas.