A letter from the PresidenT
For the past year, Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islanders have been blamed for the current pandemic.
Incidents of physical and verbal assaults against people of Asian heritage have grown since the onset of the pandemic. According to the group “Stop American Pacific Islander Hate,” more than 2,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate were reported between March 19 and December 31 last year. Media images of individuals being targeted make real to all of us this trend of aggression and violence across the nation. Most recently we learned of eight murders in Georgia—six of the victims of Asian descent.*
We welcome and embrace individuals from every background because it makes us a better community and a stronger nation. An attack on any group of us is an attack on all of us. We must also educate ourselves to be prepared to counter the ignorance that has fostered these trends. Below are a few resources shared in the spirit of building awareness.
- Anti-racism resources to support Asian American, Pacific Islander community: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/
asian-america/anti-racism- resources-support-asian- american-pacific-islander- community-n1260467
- Support Asian American Colleagues: https://www.cnbc.
com/2021/02/19/how-to-support- asian-american-colleagues- amid-anti-asian-violence.html
- Watch the PBS Special Series Asian Americans: https://www.pbs.
- An article on Anti-Asian Racism, Anti-Asian American Racism, COVID-19, Humor, and DEI: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/
I look forward to the day when I no longer have to send such messages. I call on everyone in our WMU-Cooley community to be agents of positive social change to create a better world for all of us. To those of you who identify as Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander in our community: we stand together with you today and every day going forward.
*For additional information about this violence:
1. "How Racism and Sexism Intertwine to Torment Asian-American Women," 03.18.21.
The New York Times writes that "many viewed the shooting rampage in Atlanta that left eight people dead as the culmination of a racialized misogyny that they say has long been directed at them."
2. "Asian Americans see shooting as a culmination of a year of racism," 03.18.21.
The Washington Post: "The coalition Stop AAPI Hate has been documenting anti-Asian attacks since the pandemic started last March and says there have been nearly 3,800 hate-fueled incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the U.S. — a number the group says is probably a fraction of the true number. About 3 in 10 Asian adults said they've experienced jokes or slurs about their race or ethnicity during the pandemic, according to Pew Research — the highest percent among all races. More than 68 percent of documented reports of anti-Asian harassment and violence since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic have been from women."
3. "The long, ugly history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.," 03.18.21.
The Washington Post takes "a look at the violence and racism that Asian immigrants and Asian Americans have faced since before the Civil War."
4. "Asian Americans were already living in fear. The Atlanta-area spa killings feel like a terrifying escalation for them," 03.17.21.
CNN reports that "many Asian Americans across the United States have been verbally harassed, spat on and injured for months in a 'disgusting pattern of hate' that coincides with the Covid-19 pandemic…the killings of eight people, most of them Asian, at three spas in the Atlanta area Tuesday jolted a community already on edge."
a. "For Asian-Americans, Atlanta shooting sows fresh fear after a year of mounting discrimination," 03.17.21. (Reuters)
b. "Atlanta spa shootings stir fear amid historic rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans," 03.17.21. (Los Angeles Times)
c. "The Growing Power of Asian-Americans in Georgia Now Comes With Fear," 03.17.21. (The New York Times)
d. "Atlanta killings stoke fear, concern in Denver area's Asian American communities," 03.17.21. (The Denver Post)
e. "On Capitol Hill, Asian American Leaders To Voice 'Very Real' Fear In Community," 03.18.21. (NPR)
Professor of Law
President and Dean
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School