Calling out anti-Asian racism
February 17, 2021
Dear Campus Community,
A recent rise in racist acts and violence against Asian Americans both locally and across the country has moved me to write to you today. I want to publicly condemn the incidents of physical violence and threats against Asian Americans on local public transit in recent months, an incident involving anti-Muslim slurs and intimidation at a gas station in Southeast Portland and the vandalism against Asian-owned businesses in the Jade District. There has also been a spate of violent attacks against Asian Americans in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the U.S. These incidents have not received much media attention, yet they are disturbing, cause fear among many in our community and are important to call out.
As our friends at APANO (the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon) have said: “Words matter. The increase of hateful, racist rhetoric targeting Asian Americans during the COVID pandemic creates real harm.”
Since the start of the pandemic last year, phrases such as the “China virus” has unfairly and completely inappropriately focused blame on Asian Americans.
As a white male, I am very aware that white supremacy and xenophobia is at the heart of racism. I have made it a personal goal and a goal of this institution to prioritize racial justice and do the work to end racial violence. Please join me in this essential effort.
I also want to remind you that should you encounter an act of racial bias or violence, I encourage you to report it to the Bias Review Team, a campuswide group dedicated to addressing bias incidents in our community and providing resources and support.