For Immediate Release: January 26, 2023
Contact: Shannon Craig Straw, email@example.com, 202-6745921
Pastor on California Shootings: “My heart is broken. I’m fatigued. I’m grief-stricken. I’m outraged.”
Leaders with Faith In Action mourn lives lost in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay
WASHINGTON – Clergy and leaders with the largest faith-based grassroots network are joining the country in mourning the lives lost to gun violence in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, and across the country. In a statement, the Rev. Deth Im, director of Faith Leadership Strategies for Faith in Action and former Monterey Park resident, offered a reflection on why these incidents are especially painful for the Asian and Asian American communities in the United States:
“My heart is broken. I’m fatigued. I’m grief-stricken. I’m outraged. The shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay are two more statistics to add to the growing list of gun violence tragedies. It feels numbing to wake up to the news of another mass shooting.
“In this case, the tragedies hit closer to my heart, because most of the victims in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay look like me. I understand what it means to be Asian in this country. One of those realities is that we are rarely seen, except in moments of exceptional tragedy, like what happened this week, or in moments of accomplishment that reinforce the harmful model minority stereotype and deprive us of our full humanity.
“Those who were killed were celebrating the start of a new year. And in Half Moon Bay, they were going about their day at work like everyone else in this country. They were people created in the image of God full of dignity and deserving to be seen even before we knew their names.”
Offering condolences and prayers of healing to those who lost loved ones or were injured, the Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action, placed the violent tragedies in the context of the plagues of gun violence and white supremacy in the United States:
“We grieve along with the families and communities whose lives were upended by violent loss and we pray for healing for those whose lives are forever changed by injury and the trauma of the incidents.
“In the span of 72 hours, there were at least five mass shootings across the country that garnered national attention. The gun violence that fills our headlines is horrific, but it often overshadows the daily gun violence experienced in Black, Brown and Indigenous communities across the country as though their pain and trauma are an acceptable part of life. Since the shooting at Monterey Park, more than 300 people died as a result of gun violence in the United States.
“The white supremacist impulse that reduces our Asian siblings to their accomplishments or as victims of tragedies is the same as the one that causes us to turn a blind eye to the Black, Brown and Indigenous lives lost in our country. May our solutions in the wake of the tragedies in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay be ones that prevent the loss of life regardless of the zip code they happen to have lived in and may they be solutions that honor the full, beautiful, complex humanity of every person.”
Faith in Action is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.
Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.