Veterinary Medicine community:
I’m writing with a heavy heart after recent hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including the horrific slayings in Atlanta. There were warnings of increased violence to Asian Americans at the beginning of the pandemic. Tragically, those warnings proved prescient and we must now act to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks acts of discrimination and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, received reports of nearly 3,800 incidents of hate, discrimination or attacks on Asian Americans over the past year. Of those reports, women made up a higher share of the victims, at 68 percent. The murders we saw Wednesday and the other recent attacks—including on the elderly—are not isolated.
Right now, there is a great deal of fear and pain in AAPI communities. Stop AAPI Hate has a list of actions that we can take to help, as well as tips people can use to protect themselves and others. I encourage you to review it and to take action. On campus, we have Racial Trauma Resources as well as health and wellness resources for students and staff and faculty.
My heart goes out to the victims of this most recent violence and their families and to anyone who is feeling scared and angry because of it. We must acknowledge these crises and do what we can to help. In the long run, we can change society together. We must make change in our communities and profession to create a better, safer, more equitable world.
Dean Michael Lairmore