Press release from Our VOICE:
During the weekend (March 27-28), many across our nation came together to continue Friday’s “National Day of Action and Healing” protests to bring light to increasing anti-Asian violence. Our VOICE condemns the targeted violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The almost 3,800 hate-incident reports that the Stop AAPI Hate Coalition received this past year highlights our country’s long, dark legacy of the exclusion and “othering” of the AAPI community.
Our country has a long history that contributed to this violence. The Page Act of 1875 forbade the recruitment of unfree laborers or women for “immoral purposes” from “China, Japan, or any Oriental country” but it was primarily used to exclude Chinese women from immigrating to the United States. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, an act that barred Chinese workers from immigrating to the United States and denied Chinese nationals living in the United States from becoming citizens. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order during World War II resulted in the imprisonment of over 127,000 people of Japanese descent in internment camps. While these are the most known policies in United States history, there are many more that help create a climate that continues to see the AAPI community as foreigners, of not belonging, and of invisibility.
Sexual violence and human trafficking, while sexual in nature, are crimes of power and control that are permitted to exist through oppressions such as misogyny, xenophobia, and racism. The targeting of Asian owned spas and murder of six Asian women highlights what happens when our society allows the –ism’s, rooted in white supremacy culture, to exist causing the “othering” of people of color. The –isms rooted in white supremacy. In the same week of the Atlanta spa shootings, there were at least two additional targeted acts of violence against the AAPI community. Moreover, the Stop AAPI Hate Coalition reports that 68% of the hate-incident victims are women.
Misogyny, xenophobia, and racism are what permit our society to dehumanize AAPI women and to be seen as submissive and a tool for sexual gratification.
We see you Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Hyeon Jeong Park, Julie Park, Xiaojie Tan, the two more sisters who names are still unreleased, and all the AAPI community members that have been impacted by violence, sexual or otherwise.
We at Our VOICE are committed to supporting AAPI visibility through education on the systems of power that aid racial and gender disparities, while doing our best to meet the needs of AAPI survivors of sexual assault with cultural competency. The path to positive change lies in unity and education.