Last week, a mass shooting took place in Atlanta at three Asian-owned businesses, leaving eight dead. Six were Asian American women. This senseless attack was not an isolated incident, but part of a larger history of anti-Asian sentiment, violence, and more recently, a reminder of the painful ways in which Asian Americans have been scapegoated for the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, anti-Asian sentiment and violence in the U.S. have increased by over 150 percent, with over 3,000 hate incidents directed at Asian Americans reported in all 50 states (Source: Stop AAPI Hate Initiative). Yet a year spent calling attention to this issue was not enough to keep the victims safe.
We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community and mourn the lives lost in Atlanta. Of the six Asian women who were murdered, all were immigrants, mothers, and low-income workers; four were U.S. citizens; two were grandmothers; and one was a single mother.
Sun Cha Kim, 김선자, 69
Hyun Jung Grant, [김]현정, 51
Soon Chung Park, 박순정, 74
Yong Ae Yue, 유영애, 63
Xiaojie Tan, 谭小洁, 49
Daoyou Feng, 冯道友, 44
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
Paul Andre Michels, 54
CRRES joins the many voices who have spoken up to condemn this latest, traumatizing act of hate. As researchers, we recognize the ways in which racism, sexism, and classism intersect and shape who is seen as most threating and removable in a country steeped in white supremacist ideals. We recognize too that this moment is neither isolated nor separate from the ongoing fight for racial justice.
We call on each one of us to educate ourselves about the history and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans in the U.S.; engage in bystander trainings to stand up against racism and hate; and ask our local officials to take a stand against racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian American communities.
On the university level, we call for culturally informed health and psychological services for AAPI students, staff, and faculty; increased and intentional curricula about Asian Americans; and a greater investment in campus programs that raise awareness, educate, and provide safe spaces for AAPI students.