March 26th is StopAsianHate Day
Posted on March 26, 2021 at: 3:07 pm
Racism and the Invisible Asian Americans
Eight people, six of them Asian women, were killed in Atlanta on March 16. In the aftermath of the slaughter, many competing explanations have focused on the shooter’s motivation. A Cherokee County sheriff department spokesman’s careless words seemed to express sympathy with the shooter and manifested anti-Asian racism. Increasingly, discussions have turned toward the shooter’s sexual temptation and the association of spa businesses with sex work, serving to transfer the blame unfairly to the women and their hypersexualized Asian bodies.
The growing awareness of violent assaults on Asian Americans over the last year has shaped our understanding of the killings in Atlanta in a certain direction. Americans are still struggling to comprehend and foster meaningful dialogue about racism, sexism, xenophobia, and classism. Now, living in 2021, Americans of all colors and races still lack the vocabulary to talk seriously about violence against Asian American women who continue to be framed in hypersexualized terms. The historical legacy of the U.S. wars in Asia coexists alongside records of sexist and racist restrictions on Asian immigration. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, and classism cannot be separated.
The Asian American Anti-Racism Initiative is a group of faculty, students, and administrators at the University of Delaware working to offer a forum to understand the contributions of Asian Americans to the public discourse around race. We denounce the killings in Georgia and we are dismayed by the coverage of the mainstream American media.
We will act. We will counter all forms of stereotype and typecasting. We will reframe the pre-established views. And we will combat systemic racism, sexism, classism, and xenophobia.
As the first step to create a more inclusive community, on Wednesday April 28 and Wednesday May 5, we invite members of the UD community to join us for #FightingforAllofUS: film streaming and conversations about Yuri Kochiyama and Grace Lee Boggs, two Asian American women who challenged all of us to create a more just and equitable society. Kochiyama and Boggs fought for women, men, children, Asian, Black, Latinx, and Native Americans. They worked across class and social groups, combatted systematic racism, and fought for equality and equity. Their passion and revolutionary activism cut across all racial thresholds and barriers. They stood tall in history, side by side with others in the Civil Rights Movement. And we invite all of you to join and discuss how acts of antiracism must first begin with unity that span across racial boundaries and socioeconomic backgrounds.