To the FSI Community,
We are profoundly appalled and deeply concerned by the rapid rise of anti-Asian racism and violence since the start of the pandemic. The horrific attack in Atlanta, which resulted in the untimely deaths of eight human beings — Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Paul Andre Michels — including six Asian-American women, is but the latest manifestation of unhuman and inhumane behavior towards people of Asian descent in the United States. That many of the victims are also immigrant women underscores how hatred and oppression intersect across multiple forms of disadvantage: race, gender, and social class.
Hate speech and violence are completely unacceptable in any form or context. It should go without saying that no person should have to feel unsafe walking home or visiting the store with their children. Yet sadly, our Asian and Asian-American friends, family, and colleagues now confront, on a daily basis, the anxieties, frustrations, and fears associated with prevalent and persistent acts of verbal and physical aggression.
We should not underestimate the urgency and importance of using every means at our disposal to address the virulence of prejudice — whose corrosiveness is eating away at the structure of our society — at this critical time. We urge the members of our institution and wider community to come together as never before to reach out to our Asian and Asian-American peers with sincere concern and appropriate tact, to proactively champion the rights of the oppressed, and to create and strengthen whenever and wherever possible social ties and bonds of friendship. As a step towards this end, we would like to highlight the on-going list of helpful resources prepared by the Asian American Activities Center and the Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Task Force at Stanford.
Words and deeds, positive and negative, matter. The constant exercise of care and vigilance, moral courage and fortitude, consideration and sympathy are all required to address this bane on our history and society.
Michael McFaul, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Members of the Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force
Gi-Wook Shin, Director of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center