Editor’s note: The following message was sent to all students, faculty and staff of Colorado State University on March 18, 2021, by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity.
The CSU Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is hurting after the intensity and prevalence of anti-Asian hate and the recent violence targeting Asian women in Georgia. While this hate is not new, it has been further fueled over the past year by racist rhetoric inaccurately tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this past year alone, we have witnessed 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents across the country, mostly against Asian women, including documented incidences within our own CSU community. This country has a history of xenophobia, exclusion, internment, exploitation, and overt discrimination against Asian Americans. The killings in Georgia are associated with a historical, problematic way in which Asian women have been hypersexualized in the U.S., and they further highlight how systemic issues related to gender, race, labor, class, immigration, and nationalistic attitudes intersect to make some even more vulnerable to white supremacist violence. Acknowledging the complexity and connections between all systems of oppression is necessary before we can adequately address it.
To our AAPI community, we see you, value you, and will continue to work in solidarity to address the racism and violence in our own community and beyond. Our office is working to further educate the CSU community on anti-Asian hate, both individual and systemic, and calling for allies to take action by putting anti-racism into practice:
- Attend next week’s panel, Responding to Anti-Asian Violence: From Hop Alley to Atlanta, hosted by CSU Ethnic Studies with support from the Vice President for Diversity Office, on Wednesday, March 24, noon-1 p.m. (register here to receive a Zoom link in your inbox next week)
- Give to the CSU Asian Pacific American Cultural Center
- Support local Asian-owned businesses, many of whom have seen a decline in business since the start of the pandemic
- Interrupt racist behavior in your communities, including jokes, the fetishization of AAPI women, xenophobic and racist language about the COVID-19 pandemic, the perpetuation of the “model minority” myth, and more
- Support nonprofits like Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and more
- Hold your departments, units, and college leadership accountable to anti-racist policy and actions
- Educate Yourself – Our VPD Educate Yourself blog is featuring information on Trans communities this week and we have planned to launch a week of AAPI support and Asian-directed racism education articles beginning on Monday. In the meantime, check out this post from NPR for an overview of the rise of anti-Asian attacks during the pandemic
– Office of the Vice President for Diversity