As last month’s murders in Atlanta continue to draw attention to the deep roots of anti-Asian racism and sexism in America, we want to reiterate our solidarity with our Asian-American neighbors and our commitment to be Ethical Upstanders. With over 3,800 reported incidents of crime and discrimination against the Asian-American community last year alone, there is no denying the racialized and misogynistic motivation behind the attacks in Atlanta, where six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.
To affirm that point, the originator of intersectionality Kimberlé Crenshaw astutely observes: “the root causes of these killings — misogyny, racism, and economic precarity — are only further entrenched by the erasure of certain dimensions of this violence. For Asian-Americans, and Asian-American women in particular, the bullets that ended the lives of so many in Georgia were the endpoint of a cultural frame that makes them vulnerable to racist, sexualized violence” (“Mourns the Loss of Life,” 2021). Crenshaw’s analysis highlights a long history of labor exploitation and harmful stereotypes that depict Asian women as submissive and over sexualized. This history contributes to the current escalation of attacks and hate crimes against Asian-Americans today.
Recent incendiary rhetoric, such as dubbing the COVID-19 virus the “Chinese flu,” stoked the symptoms of stigma and alienation of Asian-Americans. The cause of this disease is rooted in centuries of discrimination and dehumanization that is signature to systemic racism. Human In Common’s trademarked “History of Racism in the US Timeline” traces the roots of anti-Asian sentiment and oppression to the source; white supremacy. We pledge to continue to update our work to contextualize the current climate with the policies and practices that led to such devastation.
For example, few U.S. public schools teach about the exclusionary immigration policies, exploitative labor practices, and violence against people of Asian descent. Some of this history includes the 1790 Naturalization Act, the 1854 People v. Hall trial, the Massacres of 1871 & 1885, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the 1924 Johnson Reed Act, the 1942-45 internment of Japanese-Americans , and the 1954 McCarren Walter Act. We encourage you to continue to research the United States’ history of anti-Asian racism, as well as Asian-American acts of resistance, to gain a more accurate understanding of Asian-American experiences in the U.S.
In addition to further educating yourself, Human In Common suggests the following direct action steps:
Call-in those who express racism; engage in challenging conversations to interrupt racial bias;
Take active bystander intervention training to learn skills for interrupting racism;
Donate to Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community groups that are working to eradicate racism;
Post a solidarity statement in your workplace;
Educate yourself about Asian- American racism and action steps from Asian-American sources (e.g. educators, activists, and grassroots organizations)
Please check out these Resources for further action and education, and consider bringing Human In Common’s Interrupting Racism series to your workplace or organization to learn about the history of racism in this country, but more importantly how to stand up and stop it!
African American Policy Forum Mourns the Loss of Life in Georgia. (2021, March 19) Retrieved from https://www.aapf.org/post/aapf-statement-on-anti-asian-attacks
March 30, 2021