The Department of Sociology & Anthropology at West Virginia University stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, faculty, staff, and communities and denounces the anti-AAPI violence and hate occurring in the United States and globally.
Much of the unfounded fear and bigotry surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has been spread by political leaders who have used racist rhetoric that stigmatizes all AAPI people, putting them at greater risk for discrimination and harm. According to a recent report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at Bernardino, anti-Asian hate crimes surged in the largest U. S. cities by 149% since 2019, while overall hate crimes declined by 7%. These recent hate crime are examples of the escalation in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the past year. More than 3,800 reported violent crimes have been committed against Asian Americans in the past year. These acts of hate are horrific additions to a long history of anti-AAPI prejudice, violence, xenophobia, and the hyper-sexualization of Asian women in this country and around the world.
We must recognize that dismantling white supremacy and its effect on every marginalized group is the key to preventing and stopping racism in all of its forms, including anti-Black violence and violence against the LGBTQ+ community. We need solidarity on campus in our fight against both overt forms of racism, as well as more hidden institutionalized forms. Hate crimes and other forms of bigotry and discrimination have no place on our campus or the larger community.
As a Department of Sociology and Anthropology, we are committed to educating students and the public on racism and its intersection with inequality and marginalization in all its forms. Many faculty, staff, and students are engaged in work aiming to make a more just educational system by engaging in anti-racist pedagogy, research, service, and activism. Still, there is much more work to do.
The Carruth Center at WVU has put together a list of resources for our students from Asian countries and those of Asian-descent as well as for individuals interested in learning how to be better allies:
Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism CSUSB. FACT SHEET: Anti-Asian Prejudice March 2021