The GWS Community is deeply saddened as well as angered by the rise in physical and verbal hate crimes against AAPI people and against “Asia” more broadly. The murders of six women in the Atlanta area on March 16 follow a series of attacks against AAPI individuals across the US but particularly frequent here in the Bay Area. Make no mistake: All these attacks, including last week’s murders in Atlanta, are in part outcomes of US global imperialism and militarism – particularly the enormous military footprint in Asia, alongside entrenched and systemic misogyny and racism. These were factors that positioned the six spa workers in a situation where they became the targets of the particular and individual misogyny and racism of the man who murdered them as well as a spa customer and a maintenance worker.
Between the first weeks of the pandemic in the US in March 2020 and the end of February 2021, the Stop AAPI Hate Center recorded 3,795 incidents of anti-AAPI hate acts across the USA. Over 700 of these have been in the Bay Area. At least one man in the Bay Area has died from an anti-Asian attack. Anti-AAPI violence, both in this country and abroad, is nothing new, but it has increased in intensity and prevalence over the past year, particularly in the context of explicitly racialized hate speech coming from the highest political offices.
The GWS community is united in recognition of our connections to one another and the urgency of all our anti-racist, anti-misogynist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic, transnational mission to understand and bring to light how to dismantle injustice and inequity.
The campus has offered several events this year (AY 2020-21) in response to the rising hate crimes against AAPI communities. Recognizing the need for continued attention to this issue, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies plans to host a public event in Autumn 2021 to focus on the intersections of misogyny, militarism, racism, sex work, and precarity as they relate to anti-AAPI violence. More details will follow.
At this moment, let us all together recommit to our work of calling out the causes of injustice, and imagining and establishing the paths away from violence, that defines our discipline and our passions in GWS.
Hyun Jung Grant
Soon Chung Park
Yong Ae Yu
Delaina Ashley Yuan
Paul Andre Michaels