The faculty of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University mourns the victims of the shootings in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, including the Asian and Asian American women whose senseless deaths come amid an alarming increase in hate crimes and discrimination targeting Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. We mourn others who have been traumatized, injured, or killed in the recent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and are especially aware of the toll on our fellow Arizonans, from Juanito Falcon, who lost his life in Phoenix, to students who have been subjected to hateful and discriminatory acts on school, college and university campuses across the state. We grieve for our AAPI students, colleagues, friends, and family members who no longer feel safe and must confront the renewed prospect of anti-Asian violence. With President Biden, we condemn the political rhetoric that has allowed anti-AAPI hate to thrive and call on all elected officials - local, state, and federal - to take strong measures to stop the wave of anti-Asian violence and to make clear that racist rhetoric has no place in our society.
With sadness, and as many others have noted, we recognize that the recent targeting of AAPI, instigated in part by former President Trump’s anti-Chinese comments with reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, is only the latest chapter in a shameful history of anti-Asian discrimination in the U.S., such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, including in Arizona. Many of us focus on Mexican and other Latin American immigrants in our scholarship and teaching, and know that there is significant overlap in the experiences of Latin American and AAPI communities. As scholars of Transborder Studies and the U.S.-Mexico border region, we also recognize that AAPI communities have a long, rich, and varied presence in northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S. and have made significant contributions to the cultural, social, and economic life of the region. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Arizona State’s Asian Pacific American Studies program, other AAPI colleagues, and our AAPI students and commit to the ongoing struggle to ensure that they feel safe, supported, and valued in our campus and community.