The Georgia shootings in March 2021 have had an agonizing impact on our society, especially the Asian and Asian-American communities across the nation. The students, faculty, and staff at Pitt, too, are deeply affected by this incident. What is particularly unsettling is that this tragedy is a painful reminder that with all the endeavors to fight against racism, they have proven far from satisfying and our society is still very much susceptible to relapse into racist culture. At the same time, the surge of anti-Asian violence in the past year brings home to us the need to advance our commitment to creating and maintaining an equitable and inclusive climate in our society, on campus and off.
This tragedy is by no means an isolated incident. We understand it as a result of the deep-rooted anti-Asian culture where Asians and Asian Americans have long been subjected to various forms of racial injustice and women, in particular, have often fallen victim to sexist misrepresentations. We therefore believe that it is important to recognize and redress the structural nature of the anti-Asian racism in our society. As educators in Asian Studies, we also consider it our responsibility to be in the forefront of the battle against anti-Asian bigotry and violence. We are deeply shaken by the Georgia incident. Yet it has also strengthened our resolution to fight against racism.
Our Asian and Asian-American communities are vital parts of Pitt’s fabric, contributing greatly to our multicultural experience and global excellence. Our racial diversity is our strength, and it is crucial that we act in a timely and effective manner to thrive as an intellectually and culturally healthy institution and the center for multicultural education in the region. As the University of Pittsburgh’s department responsible for providing education about East Asia and East Asian cultures and peoples around the world, we invite university affiliates and community members to join us in supporting our friends, colleagues, family members, and neighbors from Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities, and to work towards creating a society in which the strength represented by diversity is celebrated and all people are treated as equals.
“Asian Americans Then and Now.” Asia Society, https://asiasociety.org/education/asian-americans-then-and-now.
Brockell, Gillian. “The Long, Ugly History of Anti-Asian Racism and Violence in the U.S.” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/03/18/history-anti-asian-violence-racism/.
Chan, Rosalie, Tim Cabison, et al. “What You Can Do About Anti-Asian Violence: ‘We Are Part of This Country,’ Activists Say.” Rolling Stone, 17 Mar. 2021, https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/asian-american-racism-violence-1127876/.
Cowan, Jill. “Looking at the Rise of Anti-Asian Racism in the Pandemic.” The New York Times, 19 Mar. 2021,
Gregori, Dareh. “‘There Is a Systemic Problem Here’: Asian American Lawmakers Testify about Surge in Violence.” NBC News, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/there-systemic-problem-here-asian-american-lawmakers-testify-about-surge-n1261436.
Hohman, Maura, et al. “Anti-Asian Violence Has Surged in the US since COVID-19. But It Didn’t Start There.” TODAY.com, https://www.today.com/news/anti-asian-violence-history-anti-asian-racism-us-t210645.
Hsu, Hua. “The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence.” The New Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-muddled-history-of-anti-asian-violence
Natividad, Ivan, et al. “Berkeley Expert: In Times of Crisis, Anti-Asian Violence Is an American Tradition.” Berkeley News, 17 Mar. 2021, https://news.berkeley.edu/2021/03/17/berkeley-expert-in-times-of-crisis-anti-asian-violence-is-an-american-tradition/.
“The Atlanta Shootings Fit Into a Long Legacy of Anti-Asian Violence in America.” Time, https://time.com/5947723/atlanta-shootings-anti-asian-violence-america/
“The History of Anti-Asian Sentiment In The U.S.” NPR.org, https://www.npr.org/2021/03/18/978832077/the-history-of-anti-asian-sentiment-in-the-u-s.
Other Antiracism Resources
Please click here to view antiracism resources (by NBC news) so we can support Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities.