Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
Yesterday’s murder of eight people in the greater Atlanta area, including six women of Asian descent, comes amidst a surge of anti-Asian discrimination and violence in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asian American Art Initiative (AAAI) at the Cantor Arts Center mourns the victims of the Atlanta shooting, and condemns the continued violence against Asians in this country.
The organization Stop AAPI Hate has documented nearly 3,800 anti-Asian incidents during the pandemic, 68% of which were directed at women. This hate is not new. Xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, and the fabricated connection between Asians and disease are rooted in the history of U.S. settler colonialism, imperial wars in Asia, and racial capitalism. Vulnerability to this violence is unevenly distributed across class, immigration status, age, and gender lines.
We acknowledge that this history is inseparable from Stanford itself. Leland Stanford accumulated a large part of his wealth from the Transcontinental Railroad, which employed approximately 15,000 Chinese laborers. And in 2019, there was a spate of discriminatory attacks on Asian and Asian American students on the Stanford campus, including several specifically targeting women.
As an initiative dedicated to the study of artists and makers of Asian descent, the AAAI is committed to investigating the historical roots and present formations of anti-Asian discrimination, as well as its intersections with the oppression of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities. We reaffirm our commitment to fighting xenophobia, white supremacy, discrimination, and violence against all communities. #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University