AAAL Executive Committee Statement on the New York and California Mass Shootings

The AAAL Executive Committee deplores the violent acts of mass shootings in New York and California that occurred during the past weekend. Our hearts go out to the individuals, families, and communities that have been affected and are mourning the loss of loved ones and valued community members.

News reports indicate unambiguously that the shootings in Buffalo, NY and Laguna Woods, CA were motivated by hate. The shooter at the supermarket in Buffalo specifically targeted African Americans, and the gunman at the church in Laguna Woods targeted a Taiwanese community.

As applied linguists, we know that language, discourse, and rhetoric shape people’s thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, including hate. We also know that these thoughts, feelings, and attitudes can be examined, problematized, and transformed through critically learning and understanding racial, ethnic, cultural, and other human difference. To carry out our mission of building just society, we must promote a discourse that condemns racism, hate, and violence. Let us all increase our commitment to dismantling injustices that continue to plague our society.