The Bat Association of MSU shares in the sadness and outrage at the recent racist and sexist violence perpetrated against the Asian American community in Atlanta Georgia on March 17th, which resulted in the tragic loss of the lives of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yuan, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan and Daoyou Feng . This attack follows a wave of increased violence against the APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) community in the United States, fueled by racism and xenophobia stoked by the previous administration which often attempted to conflate the global COVID-19 pandemic with the Chinese Americans .
We understand that racism and violence against the APIDA community is not new in the United States, but has long historical roots. In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act restricted Chinese immigration in order to maintain white racial purity . This racist law remained in effect for six decades only to be replaced by another restrictive law in 1943, which persisted until 1965. To add to this shameful history, in 1942, in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States imprisoned an estimated 100,000 US citizens suspected to be of Japanese descent . Events like this shape the structural inequality we see today such as the bamboo ceiling, a well known parallel to the glass ceiling faced by women, resulting in the exclusion of Asian Americans from higher level executive positions .
We are also ashamed at the lack of responsiveness by the MSU administration to the needs of APIDA students. Racism against APIDA students has been well documented on our campus and complacency and inaction by the administration allow these incidents to persist [6-8]. This lack of responsiveness to student concerns seems to be a theme in the MSU administration, which has apparently learned nothing from the Larry Nassar scandal when it attempted to pay for the silence of survivors  instead of listening to their demands.
We fully support APIDA student community demands detailed below, starting with the removal of Larry Gaynor’s name from the Eli Broad College of Business Gaynor Entrepreneurship Lab in response to his racist statements targeting the Vietnamese community [10,11]. We further understand that our responsibility as a student group centered on One Health goes beyond simply issuing statements of support in times of crisis, but requires an ongoing commitment to support marginalized communities in real and tangible ways. To this end, we hope to invite other student groups in the fields of the biological sciences to join a new coalition aimed at increasing the pressure on the administration, amplifying marginalized voices, and decolonizing research spaces in our fields. Anyone who is interested in helping with this effort is encouraged to reach out to us at [email protected].
We also pledge our support to the APIDA community. We encourage our members and supporters to attend the community vigil tomorrow (Tuesday March 30th) at 8pm at the rock to show your support. Please take a moment to review their demands below, follow APASO (Asain Pacific American Student Organization) on social media and show up!
More resources can be found at https://stopaapihate.org/
In love and solidarity,
Bat Association of MSU