DATED: March 25, 2021
THE ASIAN COLUMBIA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STATEMENT CONDEMNING HATE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST THE ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER COMMUNITY
The Asian Columbia Alumni Association (ACAA) remembers and mourns the eight victims of the Atlanta shootings, six of whom were of Asian descent. We also grieve for all the victims of anti-Asian violence across the country. These acts, together with the recent shootings in Boulder, Colorado, serves as frightening evidence of senseless violence by people who have little regard for human life. Our hearts go out to the families of all the victims.
ACAA is the voice of Columbia’s Asian Alumni and we denounce violence, anti-Asian attacks and racism in all forms. The AAPI community has long faced verbal harassment, physical assault, online harassment and civil rights violations. Recent discriminatory rhetoric regarding the origins of COVID-19, however, has resulted in an alarming rise in unprovoked attacks on members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community (AAPI).
The most recent data compiled by Stop AAPI Hate, www.stopaapihate.org, states that there were almost 3,800 anti-Asian incidents reported in the United States between March 2020 and February 2021. Data compiled by the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism and Voice of America further reports that anti-Asian hate crimes increased by almost 150% in 2020 throughout cities in the United States. Even New York City, which has many historic Asian communities, has experienced the highest year over year growth and anti-Asian hate crimes increased 833%. Many of these crimes were targeted at women and senior citizens. While these figures are staggering, many anti-Asian hate incidents go unreported. The shocking escalation of these acts demand a strong and immediate response.
ACAA condemns violence and racism against the AAPI community and asks Columbia University to take steps to ensure that Columbia is a safe and welcoming place for the Asian community. ACAA also invites all Columbians to stand together with the AAPI community in our efforts to denounce and combat anti-Asian violence. Finally, we ask Columbia University to join us and the Asian community to find solutions to the critical problem of anti-Asian bias and racism.
ACAA vows to continue its support for the Columbia Asian community, but we also recognize American strength is rooted in its history of diversity. For this reason, we will also seek to bring together allies in the effort to fight racial discrimination and systemic bias against the AAPI community and all people of color.
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