I'm sure you've read in the news this week that 6 Asian women were targeted and murdered by a domestic terrorist in Atlanta, Georgia. This is not an isolated incident, as the spate of hate crimes in the past year have seen a significant rise, and typically without adequate media coverage. This lack of attention is saddening because people of Asian descent are the third most targeted group in the U.S. following Black Americans and Jewish Americans.
At NYU Metro Center, we employ people who come from Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese backgrounds, among other Asian nationalities. We serve communities with individuals representing every nation and ethnic group on the Asian continent. Thus, we stand firmly with our Asian community, understanding the nuances of the particular forms of racial violence aimed at them. We also acknowledge the internal complexities of this violence, that it is at times fomented by people and groups from within our BIPOC community. And we, thus, call for greater solidarity among us, with the understanding that a threat to any of us, even internally, is a threat to all of us.
Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, we have work to do. As we grapple with the forces of white supremacy and anti-Blackness, we must also come to terms with the increase of over 1900% in hate crimes against Asian identifying folks in NYC this past year. We must be sensitive to the cultural factors that usually get lost in the conversation—that people from traditional Asian families sometimes hide emotions and suffer in silence. We need to make space to hear them.
We, at NYU Metro Center, is, therefore, committed to showing up actively and loudly. We are fine tuning our anti-racism work to become more expansive and more sophisticated. We would love to continue to collaborate with you in order to spur courageous conversations among our community, within your organization, and through our collaborative productions on how to show up for our friends and colleagues who are Asian. As a comprehensive research and service center, our commitment to anti-racist education must include Asian folks. This public declaration of standing in solidarity with our Asian community is the essential first step toward this growth.
Here are some resources for those interested in learning more about this issue and about how to join in the struggle to end violence against people of Asian descent:
- How You Can Join the Stop Asian Hate Movement
- View this toolkit for addressing anti-Asian bias, discrimination, and hate
- Read this article on ways to support Asian-American colleagues
- Watch this video from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - The Pandemic Fuels Anti-Asian Racism
- Read this article on the impact of the ongoing pandemic on Asian Americans in New York City
In addition, NYC has developed a toolkit for Addressing Anti-Asian Bias, Discrimination, and Hate. We encourage you to read or watch at least one of these valuable resources to better understand the realities Asians are facing right now on top of a pandemic.
David E. Kirkland