The History Department joins many today in expressing our condolences to the families of the victims of the Atlanta shooting and in repudiating the combined racism and male supremacy that seem to have motivated it. Yesterday, a lone white gunman went on a shooting spree, killing eight women, two white and six Asian American, who worked for three spas in the Atlanta area. In the past year, there have been 3,800 incidents reported of hate-related attacks towards Asian Americans. Women are more than twice as likely to be targeted than men. Hate crimes against Asian Americans in sixteen of the largest U.S. cities rose by 150 percent in 2020, and no doubt this latest incident, whether labeled a "hate crime" or not, can only contribute to the anguish and fear Asian Americans have been experiencing. While we see a dramatic rise in hateful incidents, anti-Asian racism has a long, violent history in this country, exemplified by the 1871 Chinese massacre in Los Angeles, the 1930 bombing of the Filipino Federation of America in Stockton, CA, Japanese-American internment, and the 1982 killing of Vincent Chin, to name a few.
We express solidarity with the people of Asian descent in our campus during this time of tragedy. We reject race and sex stereotyping and sexual violence towards women, of which Asian American women have long been the victims. And we call upon our leaders on campus and in the Champaign-Urbana area to do their utmost to be vigilant in stopping attacks towards the Asian and Asian American members of our community.