JPMorgan, BofA Condemn Racism Against Asian Americans
(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. said they won’t tolerate racism after a man shot and killed eight people at spas in Atlanta on Tuesday, including six Asian women.
“On streets, online and in many Asian-owned small businesses, we are seeing physical assault, verbal harassment and refusal of service,” JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon wrote in a memo to staff seen by Bloomberg. “These racist acts cannot -- and will not -- be tolerated.”
Bank of America also said it doesn’t tolerate racism in any form, and remains committed to a more-equitable future by taking action to address crucial issues, according to a memo to employees.
“The racial injustice we’ve seen toward Asian Americans in the U.S. recently, which we realize many of our teammates experience all too often, is unacceptable to all of us,” it said.
The Atlanta attack is the latest in a surge of violence against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate, a group that tracks anti-Asian violence, said it had received almost 3,800 reports of hate incidents since mid-March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic seized the U.S. More than 500 of those came in the first two months of 2021.
“This is the result of xenophobic rhetoric,” Bee Nguyen, a state representative in Georgia, told the house chamber Wednesday. “We have been taught as Asian Americans to keep our heads down because our parents believed it was safer for us. But what’s happened is that we are now invisible, and when things happen to us, people don’t speak up until a tragedy like this one occurs.”
Dimon urged employees to report any concerning incidents to the bank.
“These events are impacting our colleagues, families, friends and partners,” Dimon wrote. “We are equally saddened that more vulnerable populations are being targeted -- youth, elderly and women are experiencing the brunt of the attacks.”
Visa Inc. Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said the rise in attacks is “just horrendous.”
“A lot of it has to do with foolish, stupid people thinking that these folks are to blame for the pandemic coming to the United States,” Kelly said Wednesday at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit. “There’s no place for it.”
JPMorgan last year committed billions of dollars to help advance racial equity, including a pledge to underwrite home loans for Black and Latinx borrowers and changes to how its own executives’ progress on diversity is evaluated. Bank of America last year made a four-year commitment of $1 billion intended to address economic and racial inequality, including investments in minority-focused banks and investment funds.
“Our fight for fair treatment and equity is not for any one group -- it’s for all,” Dimon wrote.
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