Reports of anti-Asian racism throughout the U.S. have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, but have not been the subject of sustained public attention until recent months. The deadly March 16th Atlanta spa shootings, along with a spike in lethal attacks against persons of Asian descent, have brought increased visibility to a form of racism that has historically been given short shrift in discourses about racism in America. The recent flurry of press coverage, think-pieces, group protests, community statements, and social media discussions of anti-Asian racism have drawn more public attention to a number of difficult questions:
- How can we make sense of the spike in hate incidents in the past year, from verbal harassment to physical violence–directed at Asians?
- How are Asian and Asian American communities and organizations responding and resisting, and how can the broader community support them?
- Aside from fear and outrage, in what ways are people being galvanized to build power and solidarity across differences of class, nationality, immigrant documentation, and generational status?
- Conversely, how does the appeal to a unified Asian American identity conceal fractures between diverse communities and groups of people?
- What connections can be made between the rise in anti-Asian attacks and the ruling class’s war-mongering rhetoric against China as an autocratic “Communist” threat to capitalist democracies?
Michael Liu and Kent Wong, noted scholar-activists and experts on community resistance, will help us grasp the current complexities and longstanding histories of anti-Asian racism. Alice Liu, an organizer active in Texas, and Linda Liu, an S&S producer, academic, and trade union activist in Massachusetts will be hosting the conversation. Join us as we explore the role of structural racism, geopolitics, and Asian community organizing in the making and evolution of the U.S.