Statement Against Anti-Asian Racism
It has been a year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with its unimaginable loss of life. As a result of the deliberate scapegoating of the peoples and nations of Asia, violent attacks on Asian Americans and Asian people living in America have increased dramatically in this period. White supremacy, harmful stereotypes, and racist misrepresentations of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic have intensified violence and discrimination against the Asian American community over the past year, as has been widely reported and documented.
The recent murder of women of Asian descent in Georgia is part of a long history in the United States of racism, bias, and hatred directed against people of Asian descent. On March 16th, 2021, a gunman murdered 8 people in Georgia, including mostly women of Asian descent:
Soon Chung Park, age 74
Hyun Jung Grant, age 51
Suncha Kim, age 69
Yong Yue, age 63
Delaina Ashley Yaun, age 33
Paul Andre Michels, age 54
Xiaojie Tan, age 49
Daoyou Feng, age 44
The English Department at the University of South Florida is outraged over these continued acts. We acknowledge and condemn in the strongest terms the racism, prejudice, and hate crimes increasingly targeting the Asian American community across this country. This most recent episode also demonstrates the ways anti-Asian discrimination and violence often intersect with deep-seated misogyny.
As a department, we acknowledge our obligation and affirm our commitment to fighting racism and supporting equity and inclusion. We also acknowledge in particular the need to name and reject, through our teaching, research, and service, as well as in our interactions with each other, our students, and the wider community, this rising tide of white supremacy, misogyny, and anti-Asian racism and violence.
For anyone in need of immediate mental health assistance, we urge making contact with the USF Counseling Center, which stands ready to provide mental health support for those affected in any way by this recent surge in anti-Asian racism and violence, including the loss of life that took place in Atlanta.
The Counseling Center has also put together a list of resources for providing support to the Asian community. The USF Office of Multicultural Affairs also provides numerous diversity resources for the university community, including maintaining a list of Asian/Pacific Islander Student Organizations.
Anyone in the USF community who has experienced or witnessed an episode of anti-Asian racism, prejudice, or violence is encouraged to file an incident report with USF’s Title IX office.