By || This statement was written by ISAB (International Student Advisory Board) and the AAA (The Asian American Alliance).
Thank you for coming out today, we deeply appreciate your presence and your support for our community.
The Asian American Alliance and International Student Advisory Board grieve and are disgusted by the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, especially those inflicted upon our elders, service workers, families, and the most vulnerable members of our community. These attacks inflict pain, damage, trauma, and perpetuate exclusionary beliefs about who we are. They are not isolated incidents but direct manifestations of xenophobia, sinophobia, and yellow peril. The previous administration only perpetuated these harmful beliefs, using comments like “kung-flu,” “bat eater,” and “china virus” to directly attack the Asian community.
It is high time that we acknowledge xenophobia in the United States– the uncomfortable positions we are put in, the danger that is inflicted upon our family and our community as a result of these targeted hate crimes. The number of anti-Asian hate crimes has skyrocketed in the past year and it breaks our heart to see, hear, and also experience it on a personal level. Anti-Asian hate crime is frequently down played and it is crucial that we talk about it. F&M has not been an exception to what has been happening on a national level and we cannot tolerate xenophobia and hate crimes! We want to emphasize the need to educate ourselves and others on Asian history in general so that we can contextualize present times and work on being better allies.In these times, the feeling of homesickness overwhelms us and we crave a sense of belonging in a community that works with us and fights for us. ISAB feels your pain and is here for you. We are a community full of strong activists and we are here to support all of you in any way you need.
These days, we wake up to headlines from media outlets such as “Why is Anti-Asian Racism on The Rise?” as if this is a newly discovered phenomenon. We’re here to tell you that it’s not. Anti Asian racism is embedded within our history, from the exclusion acts in the 1800s that denied our citizenship in this country to the Japanese Internment Camps to the various American wars that killed and displaced millions to the hypersexualization of Asian women in the media to now, in 2021, as we witness a surging violent tide of hate crimes.
This has been our normal.
Many immigrant families fled wars in their home country and came to America in search of a new beginning… to search for hope. And yet, here we are today, witnessing tragedy after tragedy, death after death. Can you imagine, fleeing bombs and surviving war only to feel like we’ll never belong in a country we managed to call our new home?
Asian women have been dehumanized, hypersexualized, and fetishized. They have been labeled as exotic yet disposable, an object for people to use then toss away. They have been subjected to violence and prostitution, when men can marry off a bride from overseas because these women are “easy.” What happened in Atlanta, Georgia reminds us of this. It is about possession, male dominance, white supremacy, and violence. This is an institutional failure, and the conversation needs to also include women as well as sex workers as we examine how the patriarchy allows men to feel entitled and commit sex-based violence for centuries upon centuries.
These anti-Asian hate crimes are not new phenomena we have to investigate, they happened at the very intersection of systemic failures including but not limited to white supremacy, racism, gun violence, misogyny, and xenophobia. What happened in Atlanta is only one example of these failures, and we must ask ourselves what is truly at the root of these forms of violence. We are more than just stereotypes and fetishes. We are not your model minorities. We are not your anything. We must understand that the community is the most important. There are ties that connect us together, making us stronger than we are alone. Only through solidarity can we achieve liberation for ourselves and those around us.
We are hurting and our AAPI community is suffering. But we are going to keep fighting. So what will you do? How will you use your voice? How will you support us?
- Report through the Bias Reporting System
- APEN (Asian Pacific Environmental Network)
- APIENC Building Transgender, Non-Binary, and Queer API Power https://apienc.org/
- Think of at least two ways you can support the Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander community at F&M.
- Think about your own privilege, but also how you can utilize that to speak up, fight, and support us.