By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — The CEO of Cummins Inc. says government officials and business leaders must recognize a rise in anti-Asian violence and to listen to all communities to end systemic racism.

“Systemic racism impacts us all in a very negative way,” Tom Linebarger told The Indianapolis Star for a report published Thursday. “If our communities are broken down, if they are desperate places, employees won’t join us. They won’t come work here.”

Linebarger sent a memo Monday to employees addressing a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic after eight people, including six Asian women, were killed in a shooting last week in Atlanta.

“We need to be clear; Asian Americans, Chinese expatriates working in the U.S., or for that matter, any other member of our communities of Asian descent, had nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Linebarger wrote in the memo. “We must do our part to speak out against these false associations and against acts of aggression and violence. Confronting racism in all forms is consistent with who we are and what we stand for at Cummins. So is doing what is right and acting against injustice.”

Linebarger said Cummins employees who identify as Asian have told him they are scared and fear for their own safety and the safety of their family members.

Columbus-based Cummins manufactures engine and employs more than 60,000 people worldwide. As of December, just over 10% of Cummins’ U.S. workforce was of Asian descent, the company said.