BECA March 18, 2021 Statement on Anti-Asian, Anti-Immigrant and Racist Violence
Dear BECA community,
We are writing to you in grief and horror at the anti-Asian, anti-immigrant murders in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday, as well as the escalation in violence over the past weeks and months. Again we are seeing the ugliest side of America: legacies of rhetoric and continuing violence against BIPOC, against women, against all marginalized communities. This, as we mark the tragic anniversary of the murder of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020 and reckon with a nation that has still not dealt with the legacies of systemic racism, xenophobia, and misogyny.
As media scholars and content-creators, there is much that we can — and must — do in the face of these issues. We must inform ourselves. We must share our stories and listen to others’. We must amplify brave stories of those who are targeted by white supremacism, and thoughtfully and critically evaluate dominant media narratives. We must confront complicity, apathy, and misinformation in our media wherever we find it.
We must hold news media to a high standard of journalistic integrity both in its content and its language: inaccurate information and dishonest interviewees must be called out in print and on the air, and hate crimes must be named as such. We must never let incidents pass without responding through our work at every level, from class discussions to media productions. We have a tremendous responsibility, and equally tremendous power when we come together and use it.
Most importantly, you, the students of BECA, are guiding voices in our community and in society now. Here is a message from a fellow student:
My name is Joshua Prado. I am a field cameraman, a BECA student, and an Asian American. The recent surge of violence against the Asian community is not new. This is something that has normalized ever since we came to America. Since the Chinese Exclusion Act to the Japanese Internment Camps to the shootings that have happened this past week, violence has always been normalized. Exacerbated by the pandemic, xenophobia amongst Americans is at all time high. It is because of this I ask this question: Why did it have to take a mass shooting for us to start a dialogue? Why did this have to happen first for others to speak about the injustices endured by the Asian community? For far too long, we have been conforming to the blatant racism and discrimination that have plagued our communities. It is time to fight back.”
The BECA Department's greatest strength is our storytelling. Many of you are producing content that has significant impact and influence in the world. Check out these recent productions by/featuring your fellow students:
- Video for KAPWA KOLLECTIVE: In the wake of several anti-Asian attacks, local organizations have stepped up to patrol the streets.
- Video about San Mateo County's youth-led calls for awareness bringing forth unity and solidarity against Asian-targeted attacks.
- PSA produced by BECA and AAS students about anti-Asian and anti-immigrant violence in the United States.
- “No Fats, No Fems, NO ASIANS!” Exploring How Racist Stereotypes and Lack of Asian American Representation in Western Media Impact Gay Men.
- “The Zodiac Warriors” mural in Chinatown’s Jack Kerouac Alley. This page also features a video promoting over 100 small businesses in Chinatown.
In order to support community discussion and action, we are also in the process of creating a central hub for student productions and scholarly work, planning an extensive program of events and forums, and undertaking an evaluation of our curriculum. We will be asking for your input in all of these endeavors.
It is crucial to take care of each other and ourselves at this time, and at all times. Here are some resources, organizations and upcoming events:
- The Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Services and Associated Students at SFSU will host an open forum in April; for details see: https://aspire.sfsu.edu.
- Those who have encountered bias and racism can report it to the Bias Incident Reporting Team here: https://equity.sfsu.edu/content/bias-incident-education-team-sf-state.
- Students who need support can reach out to the Counseling and Psychological Center here: https://psyservs.sfsu.edu.
- More resources for self-care and counseling: API Healer Network and Therapy Resources List
- AAPI Women Lead #IMREADY Movement: It’s Time to Tell Our Story
- Stop AAPI Hate: resources for reporting and responding to anti-AAPI violence
- CSU Santa Barbara Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism
For further reading, see:
- Asian American Studies Department’s Message on AAPI Hate
- Women and Gender Studies Department Response to Asian-American Violence
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta: Georgia’s Asian American Leaders Call for Community-Centered Response after Six Asian Women Are Murdered
- Yes! Magazine article: Addressing Anti-Asian Attacks with Transformative Justice
And above all, keep the discourse going with your community of students, faculty, and staff. Working together, we can literally change the world —
The BECA Dept. faculty and staff