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Statement Against Anti-Asian Violence

At Hampshire College, we condemn Anti-Asian violence in all its forms and commit ourselves to making visible the range and specificity of racial violence when it occurs in our local communities and when it is revealed in our national politics.

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Last night in Georgia, eight people were killed, six of Asian descent, in a series of attacks that targeted the Asian American community. In the last year, there has been a dramatic increase in violent attacks against Asian Americans across the United States. COVID-19 related anti-Asian racism has also increased. In recent weeks, there have been over 20 attacks in the San Francisco Bay area. In the last year, 3,795 incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate. Many of these incidents are directed against elderly residents, such as 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, who was killed while walking in his San Francisco neighborhood.

At Hampshire College, we condemn anti-Asian violence in all its forms and commit ourselves to making visible the range and specificity of racial violence when it occurs in our local communities and when it is revealed in our national politics.

This spate of racial violence runs deep in this country's history, from the late 19th century attacks against Chinese laborers, to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the brutal murder of Vincent Chin in 1980 Detroit. All of these examples occurred within a climate of state sanctioned efforts to mark Asian Americans as "foreign" or carriers of contagion. The Trump administration's use of the phrase "China virus" tapped into a longstanding history of racial violence. Today, such acts of racial violence are carried out daily in local workplaces, sidewalks and shops.

On April 7th, the inaugural Kay Johnson Lecture in Asian American Studies will be given by Beth Lew-Williams. As the author of The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion and the Making of the Alien in America, Lew-Williams will provide a critical glimpse into the historical evolution of anti-Asian violence in relation to U.S. federal policy and suggest ways of understanding the current wave of xenophobia.

Anyone who is experiencing any forms of harassment and/or discrimination should contact Campus Safety and Security at 413-559-5424. If you are off campus, contact the local law enforcement, 911.

If you are a student, report all incidents of threat, bias or harassment experienced in-person or online to the Dean of Students Office, Zauyah Waite, zwaite@hampshire.edu or deanofstudents@hampshire.edu

For faculty, please report all incidents to the Office of the Dean of Faculty, Christoph Cox, ccox@hampshire.edu; and staff report incidents to Human Resource, Jake Toomey, jtoomey@hampshire.edu

Yours Sincerely,

Ed Wingenbach, President

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