The University of Florida Association of Asian Alumni condemns white supremacy, misogyny, and the violence that took eight innocent lives, six of them Asian women on March 16, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia (Say Their Name-Pronunciation Guide). Xenophobia and hatred have no place in our society nor the Gator Nation. Unfortunately, however, this violence towards Asian lives is deeply rooted in America’s history and perpetuated through institutionalized racism.
For centuries there have been countless episodes of disdain for Asian lives, for example, through coolie labor in the 18th and 19th centuries, the American wars in Vietnam and Korea, the colonization of the Philippines, the stolen lands of Hawaii and Pacific Islands, the Japanese Internment Camps, labor exploitations, and most recently through assaults on the Asian and Asian American elderly and racially charged rhetoric promulgated by the previous administration in regards to COVID-19. These narratives and histories of anti-Asian policies have largely been left out of our foundational education, but we must no longer ignore these histories and be active in seeking the knowledge that will fight hatred and racism.
Our strength as a Gator community comes from embracing our diversity and all that our varied perspectives and backgrounds bring to the University of Florida and beyond. Dr. Maria Cristina Leite, Coordinator of Assessment and Diversity Initiatives and Campus Diversity Liaison, in the UF College of Education has developed UNDERSTANDING AND COMBATING ANTI-ASIAN RACISM, a resource guide, for those seeking to learn more.
We call on our fellow Gator Clubs and Affiliate Groups to rededicate ourselves to embracing diversity, root out hatred, and support our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities.
Follow, learn, and stop the hate.