Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

Friday, Mar 19, 2021

Dear Princeton campus community,

The Program in American Studies at Princeton University stands with our Asian and Asian American community in support, solidarity, and outrage. Our hearts go out to the victims of anti-Asian violence sweeping the country and, most recently, to the families of those eight people, mostly Asian women, who were murdered in Atlanta this week.

The loss of life is a tragic example of the hatred, xenophobia, misogyny, and racist and gender violence that grips our country and which we must unequivocally condemn. Race-baiting and dog-whistle political language has further used the global pandemic’s challenging circumstances to foment misogynist and racist anti-Asian sentiments. The massage parlor shootings cast light on the continued degradation and hypersexualization of Asian and Asian American women, the criminalization of women connected to sex work, and white male fantasies of entitlement to Asian bodies. As scholars, we call for us to remember the violence, exclusion, and detention of Asian and Asian Americans through discriminatory immigration laws, wartime incarceration, and U.S. imperialist wars in Asia. We call for us to recognize that slavery, Jim Crow segregation, lynchings, and police violence terrorize Black communities. We must reckon with the detention, separation, and death of Central American and Mexican migrant families at our Southern border. And we acknowledge the theft, debilitation, and genocide of Native American and Indigenous people and their lands upon which our communities have been built. The escalating pattern of anti-Asian violence is part of the longer histories of racial and gender violence in the United States.

We condemn patriarchal, white supremacy and hate in all its forms: anti-Asian, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous/ Native, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic racisms, and we oppose the systemic marginalization and exclusion of racialized, gendered and sexualized groups through misogynist, anti-queer and anti-transgender violence.

As a community and nation, we grieve. We offer hope and solace for those directly and indirectly impacted by the suffering and lingering traumas that hate and violence breed. The programs in American studies, Asian American studies, and Latino studies at Princeton stand together in one voice to condemn this hatred and terrorism and offer our love and support to the victims of racial and gender violence.

Sincerely,

Aisha Beliso-De Jésus
Director, American Studies, Latino Studies, and Asian American Studies
Professor of American Studies
Princeton University

Patricia Fernández-Kelly
Associate Director, American Studies, Latino Studies, and Asian American Studies
Professor of Sociology
Princeton University

The Executive Committee of the Program in American Studies