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March 26, 2020

Philadelphia Bar Association Statement on COVID-19 and Racism

Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.) issued the following statement regarding COVID-19 and racism:

“As an association of lawyers and judges, we stand firm in our commitment to protecting the rights of all, and to stand firm against the recent incidents of racism and violence that have been directed against those of Asian-Pacific heritage. These men and women have suffered, as have the rest of humanity, from this disease; they should not also have to bear the pain of racist, xenophobic acts and statements directed against them.

“When we have defeated this disease, and we believe that we shall, we need to know that each of us can return to a world of compassion, understanding, and hope. We will need to be strong and united to rebuild. Let this be our challenge and our goal.

“We are deeply distressed that in the midst of the pandemic that is COVID-19, when thousands of people have died, when people all over the world are being hospitalized, or quarantined, and when economies are struggling in the face of this insidious virus, that there are those who believe that hatred directed toward a group of people, merely because of how they look, or their ancestry, is acceptable.

“Racism, bigotry, and xenophobia should never be tolerated, least of all at a time when people all over the world should be coming together to recognize our shared humanity. This novel coronavirus is not a disease of one country, one race, or one people. It is a disease that bears no allegiance to any nation or people; it is a disease that can affect us all. If we hope to defeat this scourge, we must each follow the precautions mandated by experts to protect ourselves.”

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