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Standing Against Racism

The Asian American Studies Program, and the Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, History, and Women and Gender Studies departments deplore the horrific shooting in Atlanta on March 16, 2021 that left eight people dead, seven of whom were women and six Asian-American. Since then, some 20 other mass killings have occurred throughout the United States from California to Washington DC.

We come together to speak out against the Atlanta killings and to condemn the ongoing white supremacist, anti-immigrant, anti-sex workers, masculinist ideologies that help produce such acts of violence. The Atlanta shooting must be understood in relation to the anti-Asian hate that we have seen rise across the United States during the Covid pandemic. According to Stop AAPI Hate, between March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021, there were 3,795 anti-Asian hate incidents–68% of which were directed at women.

Over the past year, these communities have been subjected to increasing racism and xenophobia. A reminder that anti-Asian discrimination has a long history in this country from the Page Act (1875) that prohibited the immigration of women from Asian nations; to the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943), the first federal legislation to exclude labor migrants by national origins; to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; to the targeting of Muslims and those racialized as Muslim, including South Asian Americans, in the wake of 9/11 and the 2017 Travel Ban.

Our program and departments stand united against racism. We resist attempts to pit our communities against each other and we embrace the kinds of solidarity and coalitional work that can move us forward in the face of such attacks.

"We invite you to stop and hold space with us in memory of those who were lost and on behalf of those who feel (like so many of us feel in this country) that their lives do not matter. We invite you to stop and speak their names into the wind, adding them to the long list of names that we have been shouting, whispering, and remembering. We invite you to find ways to heal and to survive, in the spirit of Sister Grace Lee Boggs who reminds us that, "The only way to survive is by taking care of one another." We believe that we do that by standing together, fighting together, and working to dismantle white supremacy together."

 

- National Women's Studies Association (NWSA )

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