We Are Outraged and Demand Justice: A Statement from the Faculty of Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies on the Safety of AAPI Communities
As we grieve with our community and condole with the families of DAOYOU FENG, DELAINA ASHLEY YAUN, JULIE PARK, PARK HYEON JEONG, XIAOJIE TAN, PAUL ANDRE MICHELS and those yet to be identified who were murdered by a white man in Georgia on March 16, 2021; we are outraged by the onslaught of anti-Asian violence, hatred, and terror spewed upon our community across the United States. This violence has spiked over the past four years, while few national leaders on either side of the aisle have done anything to stop it. These condemnable attacks, made possible by the rhetoric of politicians and abetted by state inaction, are part of a larger pattern of violence against minoritized communities in the United States. THIS MUST STOP. In expressing our anger and grief with regard to the vilification and death of Asian Americans, we also stand in solidarity with Black, Native, Muslim, LGBTQIA2S+, Latinx, and other communities that have been victims of violence, much of it state-sanctioned. In making this statement today, we want to specifically draw attention to the gendered logic of the violently racist act of a white man who killed six Asian women in Georgia. WE DEMAND JUSTICE.
For too long, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been the targets of state sanctioned racism in this country. This history and reality of anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander structural violence has deeps roots in the United States, from the Chinese Exclusion Act, to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the annexation of Hawai’i, and the continued disenfranchisement of the Hawaiian people, to the colonization of the Philippines, to Japanese incarceration camps during World War II, to continued sexual violence against women in Okinawa, and to the Asian-phobic racialization of the COVID pandemic. Anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander racism is a part of larger racist structures of white supremacy in the United States. THIS MUST STOP. WE DEMAND JUSTICE.
The violence against Asian women in Atlanta is not an aberration but is the result of the casual disregard for Asians and Pacific Islanders that has groomed US citizens to dehumanize us. THIS MUST STOP. We demand the dismantling of toxic masculinist white supremacy that is expressed most readily toward the most vulnerable in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
To citizens everywhere, we call on you to not only express solidarity on social media or in the silence of your hearts, but to be active allies who stand ready and alert to discourage, intervene in, and stop these acts of racism and violence that besiege our communities. We remind everyone that acts of violence are sown from acts of prejudice that emanate from flippant Sinophobic references and implications of the current pandemic to sexist locker room talk that dehumanize and fetishize Asian women. THIS MUST STOP.
We release this statement with utmost conviction to honor our community members senselessly murdered in Atlanta, and our siblings and elders who have been attacked in recent weeks, but also to empower our community, especially the youth, to speak out loudly and boldly in defense of our community’s safety and well-being.