Content warning: This article includes mentions of anti-Asian violence, hate crimes and gun violence.
Delaina Ashley Yaun. Paul Andre Michels. Xiaojie Tan. Daoyou Feng. Soon Chung Park. Hyun Jung Grant. Suncha Kim. Yong Ae Yue.
These are the names of the eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, who were killed in the Atlanta spa shootings earlier this month. These shootings follow an increase of violence against Asian Americans in the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past year, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have reported nearly 3,800 hate incidents, according to a recent report from the nonprofit organization Stop AAPI Hate. The data, however, which includes reported incidents from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021, represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occurred, as often they go unreported.
The rise in hate incidents parallels the rise of harmful rhetoric suggesting anti-Asian sentiment used in association with the pandemic. Last semester, second-year student Mina Ouanvilay wrote an editorial for the Digest entitled “’Chinese Virus’ is a Racist Take — Here’s Why,” which addressed this very problem.
Following the violence in Atlanta, Chancellor Woodson issued a statement of solidarity with our Asian and Asian American community. “I want to acknowledge and encourage support for NC State’s Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends whose background and experiences make these horrible events personal and even more painful. We stand in complete support of and solidarity with you, today and every day,” said Woodson.
Woodson also recommended free support resources to all who may need it. NC State’s Student Health Services and Counseling Center are available for students needing medical help. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP) is available for employees who need help. Community members should call 911 in the event of an emergency.
Resources to help individuals educate themselves and others are also available. The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity’s recently-published diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice resources have a range of items from books to podcasts to articles and more pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion.
In the event that a member of the campus community experiences or witnesses discrimination, harassment or retaliation, they have the option to file a report with the university and/or NC State Police.
Jenna Nabors (she/her) is a fourth-year student majoring in communication with minors in international studies, journalism and English and a Park Scholar. Share your thoughts about this article on Twitter at @NCStateOIED.