Statements from Asian Studies Faculty members at CSUN
The faculty in Asian Studies stands in solidarity and grieves with the families of the eight victims of the shooting in Atlanta on March 16th. The targeting of six Asian/Asian American women that resulted in these eight deaths was a shocking tragedy driven by anti-Asian and orientalist sentiment. The shooter sought to "eliminate" Asian women, who he saw as deserving of violence because of their sexual deviance. This hate crime demonstrates how objectification and dehumanization of Asian women have been the hallmark of anti-Asian violence in the US. This shooting is also one of the most violent ways that brutality against Asian Americans has manifested itself since the outbreak of COVID-19. Hate crimes targeting Asian and Asian American individuals and communities of all ages and genders have continued to rise since the start of the pandemic. The research released by reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate on the day of the shooting revealed nearly 3,800 incidents were reported since the beginning of the pandemic, with 68% of them targeting women. We are once again reminded of the specific forms of violence coming from white supremacy, misogyny, and patriarchy that Asian and Asian American women have long faced in the United States and elsewhere. We are further alarmed by the response of law enforcement in Atlanta and their refusal to recognize the shootings as an anti-Asian hate crime. Rhetoric such as theirs reinforces and is complicit with this pattern of anti-Asian violence in US history. In pain and grief, we stand with the victims and their families today.
The Asian Studies Program at CSUN calls upon campus leaders and organizations to condemn these attacks and support Asian/Asian American members of the CSUN campus and nearby communities. Asian Americans have persistently been silenced when they have called out anti-Asian racism. We as a campus community must call out this systematic erasure. We must commit to educating ourselves on the histories, cultures, arts, and activism of Asian Americans. We must commit to being vigilant against anti-Asian racism and sexism in all forms, so that we can truly participate in changing the climate all around us in the direction of justice.
Junliang Huang, Assistant Professor, MCLL
Jinah Kim, Associate Professor, Communication Studies
Richard S. Horowitz, Professor, Department of History
Weimin Sun, Professor, Philosophy
Keiko Hirata, Professor, Political Science
Drake Langford, Associate Professor, MCLL
Message from the Asian American Studies
Department on Anti-Asian Violence
We, the faculty of Asian American Studies at California State University Northridge, are sickened and enraged about the mass shootings that occurred in Georgia on March 16, 2021. We grieve with the families and communities of the eight people killed in Acworth and Atlanta. Of the 8 individuals who were killed, 6 were Asian immigrant women. These women – Daoyou Feng 冯道友, 44; Hyun Jung Kim (Grant) 김현정, 51; Suncha Kim 김선자, 69; Soon Park 박순정, 74; Xiaojie Tan 谭小洁, 49; and Yong Ae Yue 유영애, 63–were mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunties, wives, friends and community members of the Atlanta metro area. Their hopes and dreams were tragically cut short while they were working to make a better life for their families. We are troubled by the responses of law enforcement–those who are supposed to serve and protect–quickly dismissing the event as racially motivated, surmising that the shooter was “having a bad day.”
What happened in the Atlanta metro area was one example of the many attacks on our communities and reflects the escalation of anti-Asian violence in the U.S. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans have been reported across the country since March 2020 according to Stop AAPI Hate — the nation’s leading coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian hate and discrimination. Unfortunately, there is a long history of violence against Asian Americans. Asian Americans have been used as scapegoats for larger systematic failures in times of crisis-economic downturns, wars, and most recently the pandemic. Throughout history, stereotypes of Asians as forever foreigners, model minorities, spreaders of illness and disease, exoticized sexual objects and labor competition have been used to perpetuate hate, violence, exclusion and marginalization while also effectively pitting our communities against other communities in struggle. While all Asian Americans are not immune to anti-Asian violence, immigrant, working-class, elderly, trans, queer and female identified Asian Americans have been especially vulnerable. Two out of three reports of hate incidents targeting Asian Americans have been women. Instead of scapegoating Asian Americans, we need to dismantle and re-imagine the dominant values, policies and institutional structures that directly contribute to everyday acts of violence as well as state-sanctioned ones.
We ask our campus community to stand in solidarity with the Asian American Studies Department not just through heartfelt words but through action and policy. Our teaching, research, scholarship and advocacy centers the lived experiences of Asian America, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans (APIDA) providing critical counter narratives to the dehumanizing images of Asians as exotic, deviant, inferior “other”, model minority, yellow peril or invisible. The Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Desi American communities encompass over thirty-five ethnic groups with diverse immigration experiences and traverse the entire economic spectrum. Our work with students and communities is multi-ethnic, multilingual, immeasurable and oftentimes unseen. To be sustainable, this work requires institutional support that makes visible Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences, not just today, but regularly and always. We ask for a campus commitment to provide tangible sustained support to increase AAS faculty and staff capacity so we can better serve our students, document our histories and strengthen our relations with community-based partners who are on the frontlines in helping the most vulnerable members of our community. We also ask the campus leadership to direct concrete resources to continue the solidarity work between Asian American Studies, Chicana/o/x Studies, Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Central American Studies, Gender & Women Studies, Queer Studies and allies in addressing the interconnected systems of racism, imperialism, colonialism, misogyny, and institutionalized class inequality. Asian American Studies has an important role in discussions of anti-Asian hate and social justice, as we prepare our students and future teachers to be leaders in an interconnected and complex world. There is so much more we can do when we work together.
Solidarity statements from college/department/program
College of Humanities Statement of Solidarity with AAPI Community
The College of Humanities grieves with the families and friends of the eight victims of the mass murder that took place in Atlanta on March 16.
Xiaojie Tan. Daoyou Feng. Soon Chung Park. Hyun Jung Grant. Suncha Kim. Yong Ae Yue. Delaina Ashley Yaun. Paul Andre Michels
Of the eight lives lost in the horrific attacks, six of them were Asian American women. Women who were mothers, sisters, aunts, friends, colleagues, neighbors. Women who were the target of anti-Asian, misogynistic violence.
We cannot ignore the fact that there have been nearly 3800 documented violent crimes against Americans of Asian descent—primarily women—in just the last year. We cannot ignore the rhetoric of hatred, racism and violence that has fueled these crimes. We cannot ignore the ways in which this rhetoric is rooted in a toxic intersection of racism, sexism, hypersexualization, misogyny, imperialism, militarism, and violence.
And we cannot continue to elide the fact that Anti-Asian hate is entwined with the history of our country, from the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882); to the anti-Chinese riots of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II; the mass shooting in Stockton that targeted Asian American children (1989); the murders of Vincent Chin (1982), Navroze Mody (1987) and Joseph Ileto (1999); and many other examples.
But violence against the AAPI community has far too often been rendered invisible: ignored, treated as something from the distant past, or attributed to causes other than racism—as we have seen even today in the "debate" over the motivation for the Atlanta attacks.
The College of Humanities unequivocally condemns anti-Asian racism and stands in solidarity with all in the Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. Our Asian American Studies department, founded in 1990, has been dedicated since its earliest days to fighting for social justice and empowering our graduates to go out and transform the world. As a college, we redouble our commitment to supporting the faculty and students in this department in reaching for this vital goal in such troubled times.
An important part of our mission as a college is to "Act as responsible global citizens committed to principles of freedom, equality, justice and participatory democracy."
We must work together as a college and as a university to live up to this goal through such actions as:
- Supporting programming and curriculum that educates all of us on this history of AAPI communities in the US
- Offering visible and vocal support for all of our AAPI colleagues and students
- Calling out xenophobia, racism and harassment wherever it is exhibited
- Amplifying and valuing the diverse and unique stories that are woven into the American tapestry.
- Working to enact systemic changes that lead toward racial justice and empowerment for all.
COMS Statement of Solidarity with Asians and Asian Americans
Communication Studies faculty and staff stand in solidarity with students, faculty, staff and community members of the Asian and Asian American community. Asian Americans have faced increased violence during the pandemic, and the circulation of racist discourses of the "Kung-flu" and "China virus," builds on a long history of xenophobic and white supremacist representations of Asians and Asian Americans as carriers of contagion and disease. These and other negative stereotypes have legitimated such attacks in a context where a U.S. President and right-wing media have racialized the pandemic to fuel white supremacist hostilities. NYPD reported that hate crimes against Asian Americans in NYC rose by 1,900% in 2020. Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting database created at the start of the pandemic in response to the rise in racially motivated attacks against Asian Americans, received over 3800 reports of anti-Asian discrimination between 2020-2021. Asian women and the elderly have been particularly targeted for abuse.
We are particularly pained by Tuesday night's shooting and killing of 8 people, the majority of whom were Asian American women targeted at their workplace. Asian American members of our community see themselves, their mothers, and their aunties in these women. This hate crime is a result of the highly-charged current racial climate, coupled with the longer history of racism and sexism perpetuated against Asian Americans in the US. The shooter stated he wanted to "eliminate" Asian women, who he described as "temptations" and a source of sexual deviance. We recognize in his discourse the persistent fetishization, hyper-sexualization and dehumanization that have been the hallmark of anti-Asian racism in the US. We grieve with families of those who were killed in Atlanta Tuesday night and recognize their humanity. At CSUN and in our surrounding communities, this violence heightens a sense of Asian precarity –exacerbating the isolation of the lockdown, the economic hardships we are experiencing due to the closure of small businesses, and the pain many of us are feeling due to the illness and death of our loved ones.
We condemn the victim blaming currently articulated in the media and upheld by law enforcement, which further traumatizes the Asian community as it repeats historical patterns of militarized, colonial, sexualized, and individual attacks perpetrated against Asian Americans. Atlanta law enforcement reported that the suspect had a "bad day," eliding underlying anti-Asian sentiment at its core. This is a bald demonstration of what victims of anti-Asian violence have been decrying: the endemic refusal of the police to identify violence against Asians as a hate crime. Given this history, and anti-Black racism tied to police violence, we caution that the answer to anti-Asian violence is not more policing. Rather, we call for community-based responses, further decriminalization of migration, and protection of labor rights for all workers, including those in precarious industries like the women who were targeted.
Times like this make it apparent why it is vital that students see themselves represented in the priorities of the university. An overwhelming majority of CSUN's student population are students of color. For many faculty and staff of color, our students' struggles and fears are (or have been) our struggles and fears. That in and of itself provides a sense of belonging and safety, although alone it is not enough without tangible resources that empower faculty and staff to carry this burden. We must prioritize making our department and our campus a locus of solidarity and mutual care. We literally cannot do our jobs without it. We therefore reiterate our call to the University to:
- Fortify Ethnic Studies Departments, Programs, and Initiatives
- Follow the leadership of Asian and Asian American faculty, students, and staff already doing anti-racist work across campus, in our communities, and across the state and the nation
- Reprioritize funding to support the communities hardest hit by Covid-19 and its attendant racist violence
- Become fluent in the histories, contexts and ongoing structures of anti-Asian sentiment and work to eradicate violence as well as macro- and micro-aggressions perpetrated against Asian faculty, staff and students
- Encourage and support teaching faculty in all departments to create dialogues surrounding these issues inside their classrooms
- Acknowledge that the violence directed at Asian bodies is predicated on ongoing violence against Indigenous people to dispossess them of their lands, including the unceded Tongva and Tataviam territories on which the CSUN dwells
The Communication Studies Department is unequivocally committed to students of color, and Asian and Asian American students in particular at this moment of racist and sexist violence. Our hope as a department is that MCCAMC and the University commit resources to implementing a long-term plan of action that addresses critical social justice issues that affect faculty, students and staff on this campus directly or indirectly.
Department of Communication Studies
Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program Statement of Solidarity and Mourning
Jewish ethics places the unique and infinite value of each individual above all other values: the loss of one life, the Talmud teaches, is like the destruction of an entire world. We in the Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program are sad and angry to see the disregard and devaluing of the crucially important lives of our Asian American neighbors, as well as continuing violence against our African American, Latinx, and Indigenous neighbors. We mourn the eight human beings, including six Asian American women, murdered in Georgia last week. We protest racist attacks on and harassment of people of Asian descent across the United States and in the United Kingdom and Australia. We recognize that the increased attacks on people of color harm our Jewish brothers and sisters of Asian, African, Latinx, and Indigenous descent. Jewish experience of white supremacist violence has taught us that none of us are safe unless all of us are safe. It is incumbent on all of us to support one another and repair our broken world.
Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program
From the Black Faculty and Staff Association of California State University, Northridge
The Black Faculty and Staff Association of California State University, Northridge stands in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander Community. We send our condolences to the families of the eight individuals killed in the recent massacre in Atlanta. We condemn the racism, violence, and misogyny aimed at the AAPI community.
We acknowledge the history of silence and silencing with respect to AAPI hate, and we share the commitment to eradicate white supremacy in all forms.
Stop AAPI Hate
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
Crisis hotline in Asian languages: 1-877-990-8585
Violence Against Asian Americans Continues: How You Can Help the AAPI Community (this article in People is specific to how to support organizations and where to donate).
The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Asian Americans: Counselor Interventions and Considerations
Black Faculty and Staff Association
CSUN Liberal Studies Program Statement in Solidarity with APIDA
The faculty, advisors and staff of the Liberal Studies Program grieve with the families of Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Paul Andre Michels. We stand in solidarity with Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, and Desi American communities who have confronted, often silently, far too much racist and sexual violence along with xenophobia not just on March 16th, 2021, but from the very beginnings of our country. As a program that trains and prepares our diverse, largely female, students to become elementary school teachers, we work to clarify the intersectionality of gender, race and sexuality and to support curriculum that foregrounds these connections. We are especially aware of the power of racist rhetoric that has historically been used to justify state violence and fearmongering against Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, and Desi American communities (APIDA). We strive to educate our future teachers to dismantle the pernicious structures of white supremacist misogyny in our society and in our educational institutions.
Statement of Solidarity for the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander Community
We, in the Department of Africana Studies at California State University, Northridge, express our support, and stand in solidarity with our colleagues and partners from the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities following the heinous act of violence and the brutal killing of eight women in Atlanta on March 16th, 2021.
We are deeply troubled by these attacks and by any violence based on race, ethnicity, or gender, and we acknowledge the injustices experienced by the AAPI community throughout our nation, specifically, the pain of longstanding racism that has only been reinvigorated, and that has escalated this year during the pandemic. We stand firmly with our AAPI neighbors, friends, co-workers, classmates, and family in condemning all forms of hate, and reaffirm our commitment to doing our part to foster a more inclusive and just society. We send our deep condolences to the families of those affected and to so many other families and neighborhoods impacted by hate, intimidation, threats, and acts of violence.
Department of Africana Studies Faculty and Staff & the Black House Team
Colleges that responded to the statement and showed their support
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Thank you for crafting and sharing this statement. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences stands in solidarity and lends our support through creating spaces for discussion, pursuing research, activism, and community engagement.
Yesterday we reached out to Dr. Sun and the China Institute about convening discussion space and we are currently awaiting direction from the USU and UCS on how to further collaborate.
Yan Dominic Searcy, Ph.D.
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication
I thank you for sharing this statement with the CSUN Community. The Mike Curb College stands with you and all in our community who have been impacted by these hate crimes.
Dr. Dan Hosken
Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication
Thank you (and your colleagues) for writing this eloquent statement condemning the anti-Asian violence (with special reference to the hatred and demeaning of Asian women) that has risen over the past year but has been a sad part of American history for 150 years.
I want you do know that the University Library stands with you in rebuking anti-Asian sentiment in our society, and in promoting tolerance and equity for all people. I will be sharing your statement with the Library staff and faculty later today.
Mark Stover, Ph.D.
Dean, University Library
Protests around the country
San Francisco (before the Atlanta attack)
Thousand Oaks (Northridge community participated):
More information around the web: