This post was originally published on March 23, 2021.
Using an intersectional frame, last week’s horrific killing of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, can be viewed as the tragic manifestation of the misogyny, racism and white supremacy embedded in the fabric of American culture and society – the same culture that generously described the white gunman’s actions as the result of “a bad day” and his being “fed up.” In America, the crimes of a white male domestic terrorist can be casually regarded with greater humanity than the lives or deaths of those he murdered.
Anti-Asian racism is as American as apple pie. Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century were prevented from marrying due to anti-miscegenation laws, then the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers. The fetishization of Asian and Asian-American women as hypersexualized goes back centuries, from the Page Act of 1875, which barred Asian women from immigrating under the pretense that they were prostitutes, to the exotic and submissive stereotypes of Asian women that can be traced to the US’ imperialist occupation of Asian countries during periods of war (from the Philippines to Korea and Vietnam). And, of the nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents outlined in Stop AAPI Hate’s National Report, attacks against Asian women made up a disproportionate 68% of those committed since the pandemic began.
This latest tragedy demands that we redouble our commitment to dismantling white supremacy, and to standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of Asian-American, Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander descent. Our shared humanity and collective liberation require it.
Bystander Intervention Training to Prevent Anti-Asian Harassment:
How to be an ally and help Asian-Americans fight Anti-Asian racism:
Resources to Support AAPI Communities
Georgia’s Asian American Leaders Call for Community-Centered Response After Six Asian Women are Murdered:
Red Canary Song resources to support families of Atlanta victims:
Defending Asian women, defending sex workers (Resource List):
How to support the AAPI community in a time of hate and violence: A Resource List:
Resources and statements from Asian American Leaders Table (In support of Atlanta-based Asian organizations):
Mutual Aid (New York):
Long History of Racism Against Asian Americans:
How Racism and Sexism Intertwine to Torment Asian-American Women:
Asian American Women Are Resilient — and We Are Not OK:
Working for Equity and Social Justice? Know What Your Asian Colleague is Experiencing:
Critical Race Theory is not Anti-Asian:
It’s Time for Philanthropy to Address Its Erasure of AAPI Voices and Perspectives:
Kimberlé Crenshaw and The African American Policy Forum’s Statement on Anti-Asian Attacks: