In the last year, we have all witnessed a rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence. The COVID-19 crisis combined with geopolitical tensions with China have contributed to an unhealthy atmosphere of anti-Asian sentiment. But we must not pretend that this is a new phenomenon. Disregard for the value of Asian Americans, and Asian women in particular, is an unfortunate historical fact in America.
The tragic violence directed against the Asian women in Atlanta on March 16 is part of a dysfunctional pattern of thoughts, beliefs, and actions practiced by far too many. It is our collective responsibility to recognize these problematic patterns and fight against them to the best of our abilities. Today we pay our respects to the lives lost in this domestic terrorist attack and hate crime, including Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Julie Park, Hyeon Jeong Park, and the two Atlanta victims whose names are not yet public. We grieve with their families and the nation.
People from Asian communities have contributed to our lives and culture in a multitude of ways, but this is not the reason we show respect. Asians and Asian Americans, like everyone else, are people and deserve the basic respect and human rights afforded to all. As a society, we must do better.
We at J&J commit to the fight against racism in all its forms. We call upon our colleagues across the scholarly community to join us in creating a safer and healthier world for all.
Saying the words is easy. Doing the work is hard. We commit to doing both.