UMTAD Statement Against Anti-Asian Hate

Rarig Center UMN

UMTAD Statement Against Anti-Asian Hate

The brutal murder of eight people in Georgia this week, six of whom were Asian women, has made tragically visible the everyday violence (symbolic violence and actual violence) experienced by AAPI and especially AAPI women in this country. In the past year, hate crimes against AAPI are up nearly 150%, and as alarming as that statistic may be, it doesn’t account for the significant number of incidents that go unreported.

In this time of racial reckoning, it is imperative that we stand with our family, friends and colleagues in the AAPI community to fight against systemic racism and the longstanding, tenacious structures of white supremacy, which are underwritten by the interwoven logics of hetero-patriarchal misogynist violence, white-nationalist xenophobia, Sinophobia/Orientalism, and the devaluation of women involved in service or care labor. At this troubling time, I encourage you to reach out to the AAPI members of the TAD community to offer support. If you would like more information, or ways you can help, Stop AAPI Hate, is an organization that tracks varying acts of discrimination and violence against Asian Americans, and Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP), is a group that connects Asian Americans in Minnesota to work on civic engagement and racial justice.

I want to thank Wariboko Semenitari and the A.C.C. (Artists of Color Coalition) for the work they do in raising awareness of issues impacting all students of color in TAD and for their continued advocacy. I also want to thank Christian Bell and the HUB initiative for providing a platform for discussions centered on racial reckoning through special programs like Shaking Up “The American Stage” and through Tea Time discussions that make space for some of our students of color including Emma Lai, John Patterson and Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha to share their experiences and challenge existing structures within our department and the arts in America in general. Although these incremental changes are a move in a positive direction, ongoing examples of racism from microaggressions to violence and murder that have become all too common in our society, remind us that there is so much more work to be done.

Sincerely,

Mathew J. LeFebvre,
Chair, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance

This statement was released to the UMTAD community on March 19, 2021. 
 
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