Our hearts are saddened and troubled that, once again, we write to you to address racism.
The killing of six Asian American women in the Atlanta, Georgia, region has sparked much-needed and long-overdue conversation surrounding the injustices perpetrated against the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. The past year has seen an increase in racist and xenophobic assumptions and behaviors, with nearly 3,800 reported hate incidents against Asian Americans. This increase represents more than three times the reported cases in previous years (Hauser, 2021). We must recognize that the animosity directed toward the Asian and Pacific Islander communities is longstanding and much broader than these recent acts of hate. We must not tolerate the continuation, perpetuation, and absolution of racist behavior.
As choral musicians, educators, and scholars, we must also examine our practice and pedagogy. We must understand the impacts of our fetishization of Asian and Pacific Islander culture and artistic expressions. We must reexamine how we engage our Asian and Pacific Islander communities and strive to create a culture of inclusion, access, and cultural pluralism. We acknowledge that these words cannot undo the invisibility or harm that ACDA may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to or caused. However, these words are a commitment to our Asian and Pacific Islander siblings, sisters, and brothers to continue the work of being more inclusive, more just, and more equitable.
Hauser, C. (2021, March 17). Asian-Americans were targeted in nearly 3,800 hate incidents in the past year. Retrieved April 1, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/17/us/hate-crimes-against-asian-americans-community.html.