NAME Condemns Anti-Asian Racism
The horrific recent examples of violence against Asian Americans remind the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) community that white supremacy in the United States remains one of the most pressing problems for the nation and the world. As white supremacy terrorists spread hate through violence, social media, and fake news, schools and colleges must do more than issue after-the-fact statements. Indeed, NAME reminds our community that statements abhorring hate do not transform the social and school conditions that foster, enable, and tolerate such racism from developing in the first place.
The U.S. was built upon anti-Asian racism, which was built upon a foundation of anti-Indigenous, anti-Latinx and anti-Black racism. Schools in the U.S. were designed to justify and expand this racism, and in 2021, communities of color remain under violent attack. Whether through police brutality, anti-Asian immigrant rhetoric and policies, redlining, cultural appropriation, racist imagery, or daily white supremacist microaggressions, the U.S. has invested in anti-Asian racism over the past several hundred years.
During his presidency, Donald Trump was vocal in his anti-Chinese, anti-Asian, and anti-people of color racism, often labeling the coronavirus pandemic the “China virus.” Such words scapegoat one group of people as being responsible for COVID-19, but the pandemic is far from being isolated to one country or any group of people. Despite reality, Trump intentionally fostered violence against Asian-Americans in the United States, some fatal. Stop AAPI Hate received 3,795 reports of racist incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from March 19, 2020, to February 28, 2021. The Stop AAPI Hate study says, “The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face.” Those include verbal harassment, physical assaults, civil violations and online harassment. This intersectional racism recently culminated in a mass shooting March 16 in Atlanta, in which a white gunman killed six Asian women and two others.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have expressed concern over the violence and hate against Asian Americans. However, the current administration must take a stronger stance against white supremacy. Make no mistake, though, U.S. presidents, just like police and our schools, maintain the racism that targets Asians and all communities of color. We must demand more than words, more than after-the-fact statements.
As violent threats continue, the NAME community echoes our commitment to transforming schools and the broader community into beacons of hope that prepare young people to navigate and transform this societal white supremacist racism. The survival of all people is at stake.