Spotlights

DRES Statement on anti-Asian American Hate and Xenophobia
March 18, 2021
 

Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) echoes our campus partners in the condemnation of the alarming rise in anti-Asian and anti-Asian-American racism, violence, and harassment. 

Tuesday’s events are unconscionable and so many of us are shaken, angered, and saddened by this tragic violence.

Anti-Asian xenophobia and scapegoating is not new. Systemic racism can be historically traced back from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to the forced relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, to the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin by laid-off autoworkers, and nearly 20 years ago to the post-9/11 hate crimes against Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans. 

Emboldened by racist rhetoric and use of "China virus" or "Kung flu" to refer to the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled anti-Asian prejudice and bias:

•             Over 2,800 reported cases of COVID-19 related hate and violence against individuals of Asian descent from March-December 2020 (Stop AAPI Hate)

•             Almost 40% of Americans say it has become more common for people to express racist views toward Asians since the pandemic began (Pew Research Center)

•             More than 30% of Americans have witnessed COVID-19 bias against Asians; 60% of Asian Americans have seen the same behavior (Center for Public Integrity)

One’s race, ethnicity, identity, religion, or national origin should never be used as a threat against anyone’s physical or emotional safety. The current administration has made efforts to address these acts of violence against Asian Americans through President Biden's Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. That alone will not be enough, it is a work in progress. 

On campus, we are committed to providing a safe, open, and welcoming environment for all members of our community. Please report all bias-motivated incidents that occur within our university community to the Bias Assessment and Response Team, bart.illinois.edu. The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) and the Asian American Cultural Center is hosting a Bystander Intervention training on how to intervene to stop anti-Asian American harassment and xenophobia, to learn more, visit https://oiir.illinois.edu/aacc.  To learn more about anti-Asian hate and to report incidents that occur anywhere, visit stopaapihate.org.

Take Good Care,

DRES Staff