Summary: Statement of solidarity by Paulo Freire Democratic Project, Chapman University, California, in response to the racist, misogynist murders in Atlanta. Originally appeared here https://www.chapman.edu/education/centers-and-partnerships/paulo-freire/index.aspx — Editors
The Paulo Freire Democratic Project (PFDP) stands in solidarity with Asian and Asian American communities. There is a long untold history of their contributions to the formation and growth of this country. We must stop treating Asian communities as foreign agents linked to negative attributes aimed at hurting this nation. This has led to unfair treatment, harassment, and violence. Instead we should honor and respect these varied and valuable communities throughout the country which have added to its fabric, strength, infrastructure, economy, architecture, art and culture.
The recent hate-based killings in Atlanta and Cherokee County are, once again, stark evidence of the endemic racism and misogyny in our society. There can be no doubt that this shooting spree targeting Asian women has something to do with the fetishized social relations that Asian women confront in the U.S. That this takes place at a time in which Asian and Asian American communities are facing the xenophobic response of a society bent on finding someone to blame for our social conditions is no accident. The U.S. has a long and shameful history of making Communities of Color the scapegoats of our problems. The fear and frustration of the pandemic has fanned an irrational fear of Asian communities, with three in 10 Asian Americans (31%) reporting having experienced racial slurs or racist jokes since the beginning of the pandemic.
Racism, misogyny, and other forms of oppression are part and parcel of a racialized capitalist structure built upon social relations of domination and systems of exploitation that serve to lower working wages, increase inequality, and keep the majority living in poverty, while the rich get richer.
This structure is also aimed at keeping us segregated, intolerant and divided while creating an ideological shield for capitalism and reproducing the exploitation of humans by humans. Solidarity is the greatest resource that we have in fighting against structures of oppression. The PFDP makes a commitment of solidarity to bring greater awareness of and respect for the beautiful and varied cultures of Asian communities and to develop a praxis that challenges structures of oppression and develops paths to liberation committed to building a more human world.
The views expressed here are those of the PFDP members and do not represent those of Chapman University.