Condemnation of the Rise of Anti-Asian Violence
Statement on Behalf of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In recent weeks, across numerous cities, there were protests against the rise of anti-Asian hate, violence, harassment, bias, and discrimination in the U.S. There is an urgent cry against attacks on APIDA communities. From California to New York, unprecedented members of these communities have been brutally attacked, whether verbally or physically. We recognize that the recent escalation of violence has had an enormous impact on the UCSB APIDA community, by creating a climate of fear. We want you to know, that the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion supports you. We stand against anti-Asian racism and xenophobia that have been fueled by political rhetoric.
On January 26, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that provides additional resources to the U.S. Justice department to increase efforts to track hate crimes and the harassment of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. The directive also instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to remove xenophobic references that may appear in Trump Administration policies and public releases regarding the pandemic. Any references to the pandemic using racialized pejorative terms will be removed.
The Biden memo states, in part:
The Federal Government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including reference to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin. Such statements have stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and have contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI persons. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-directive- combats-racism-asian-americans-amid-covid/story?id=75490177 by Deena Zaru, 1/26/2021
A coalition of APIDA advocacy groups based in California, but nationwide, formed STOP AAPI Hate as a response to the escalation of violence, hate, and harassment during the pandemic. Concerned about the recent attacks on Asian Americans, the coalition created an online incident reporting site. According to STOP AAPI Hate statistics, 2,800 incidents of bias were reported online since the tracking site began on March 19, 2020. Within two weeks, there were 700 reported incidents.
Sadly, these are not isolated incidents but a part of larger historical patterns of racism, hate, and violence directed at those of Asian descent. There has been a history of discriminatory U.S. national policies. Examples of such policies include the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, that not only banned Asian immigration but Asian residents from becoming U.S. citizens; the 1917 Asiatic Barred Zone Act or Literacy Act, that imposed literacy tests on immigrants and barred most immigration from the Asia-Pacific zone; and, the 1942 Executive Order 9066, that designated Japanese Americans as resident enemy aliens and forcibly removed more than 120,000 of them from their homes to concentration camps.
This unjust legacy of Asian American scapegoating continued with the murder of Vincent Chen in 1982. He was brutally beaten by two white men that blamed Chen, who was of Chinese descent, for the decline in U.S. car manufacturing as the Japanese auto industry grew. Four days after the beating, Chen would die from injuries sustained by the attack. The assailants received three years of probation and were fined $3,000. Just as the murder of and the lack of justice for Vincent Chen mobilized APIDA communities, so, too, has today’s escalation of anti-Asian hatred been met with resistance, resiliency, and calls for justice by members of APIDA communities, as well as their allies.
We want all members of our UCSB family to feel safe. Violence is not tolerated at UCSB. Should you experience or witness any acts of hate, bias, violence, or harassment please report these incidents to:
There are also resources on campus to provide you with counseling and other services:
- CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services): 805.893.4411 (24/7)
- ASAP (Academic and Staff Assistance Program): firstname.lastname@example.org
- CARES/ACCESS: 1-888-868-1649
- SAFTY Mobile Crisis Team/Hotline: 1-888-334-2777
- OISS (Office of International Students and Scholars): email@example.com
- Ombuds Office: https://ombuds.ucsb.edu/
The reality of ongoing injustice continues, with APIDA communities serving as scapegoats for the COVID-19 pandemic. The DEI Office is working, and will continue to work, to combat anti-Asian attacks. We support our UCSB APIDA communities. We stand with you.