In the last year, we have experienced a horrifying increase in anti-Asian violence. This violence has been fueled by rhetoric baselessly blaming people of Asian descent for the outbreak and spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, these hate crimes are only the most recent incidents in our country’s long and ugly history of scapegoating immigrant and racialized communities in times of crisis. The Asian Art Museum condemns all forms of racism and xenophobia, and we are outraged by the recent surge in unprovoked, violent, and even fatal attacks against Asian Americans. We call for an end to this anti-Asian hatred and violence now. At this difficult time, we will continue to uplift the voices and experiences of the broader AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community – to which many of our staff, board, volunteers, members, and visitors belong – and to confront injustice through the power of art.
As I write this, the details are still emerging of the horrific events in Atlanta, Georgia, in which a domestic terrorist killed eight people, at least six of whom were Asian American women. We mourn these victims and stand in solidarity with their families and the Asian American community in Atlanta. Our hearts also go out to the residents of San Francisco Chinatown and Oakland Chinatown, whose elders have been especially impacted by recent anti-Asian violence, and to members of the many other communities that have made the Bay Area a historic center for Asian American life. We also recognize that other marginalized groups — whether based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, immigration status, or place of origin — are also being targeted. Sadly, these anti-Asian attacks have sometimes led to tactics and actions that reinforce structures of anti-Black racism, which only detracts from the overall goal of racial justice. We denounce this rhetoric and call for unity among communities and coalition-building that addresses these systemic issues at their roots.
A trio of murals by Asian American women artists currently on view along the Hyde Street facade of the museum responds to these forms of violence and the silencing of victims and communities. Jas Charanjiva’s Don’t Mess With Me highlights victims of sexual assault, Chanel Miller’s I was, I am, I will be gives inspiration to those recovering from trauma, and Jenifer K Wofford’s Pattern Recognition affirms the importance of visibility, representation, and cross-cultural connection. The museum is proud to provide these platforms for Asian and Asian American voices, platforms that matter more than ever in a political climate that has emboldened racist beliefs and actions.
There is still much more work to be done and many more voices to uplift. We hope you will join us for upcoming programming that directly address these troubling events and support the individuals and communities affected through other avenues for education, solidarity, and action. In addition to these public-facing events, we will be holding discussion forums for our staff, many of whom are members of the AAPI community, to discuss these issues and our role in ending this violence.
We are committed to making the Asian Art Museum a place that welcomes and inspires everyone. We believe that engaging with Asian art and cultures in their many forms has the ability to educate, spark creativity, foster dialogue, connect people, and, ultimately, create change.
We are all in this together. Please contact us at [email protected] for questions, comments, or feedback.
In solidarity and justice,
Jay Xu, Ph.D.
The Barbara Bass Bakar Director and CEO
Compassion in Oakland
Compassion in Oakland strives to provide the Oakland Chinatown Community with a resource for promoting safety and community and to foster a more caring and safer Oakland for all.
Feed + Fuel Chinatown 2.0
Feed + Fuel Chinatown addresses the resurging needs of Chinatown businesses and residents living in Single Room Occupancy hotels (SROs).
Stop AAPI Hate
The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Stand Against Hatred
The Stand Against Hatred website is made available by Asian Americans Advancing Justice to document hate and to educate about the environment of hate around the country.
Oakland Chinatown Coalition
The Oakland Chinatown Coalition is a broad coalition of service and community-based organizations, businesses and professionals, churches, and residents that advocates for and works to implement improvements to our neighborhood.
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Asian Pacific Environmental Network is an environmental justice organization with deep roots in California’s Asian immigrant and refugee communities that fights and wins campaigns to make our communities healthier.
Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council
The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) is a coalition of community-based organizations that advocates for the rights and needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community in the greater Los Angeles area.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta is the first and only nonprofit legal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) in Georgia and the Southeast.
Chinese Progressive Association
The Chinese Progressive Association educates, organizes, and empowers the low-income and working-class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) is a nonprofit community development organization with over 45 years of experience in building healthy, vibrant, and safe neighborhoods in the East Bay.