Hate crimes frequently occur against people of color in the United States and across the globe. Recently, an anti-Asian hate crime was carried out in Atlanta, Ga., resulting in the death of six Asian women.
As the nation mourns the losses of those individuals affected, we must also reflect on how we can better support the Asian community on Albion College’s campus.
“I think it would useful if Albion addressed the the hate towards Asians, not just regarding the recent tragedy in Atlanta, but also when it started a year ago with people referring to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘kung flu’ or just saying things like they’ll never eat Chinese food again and that we should stop eating bats,” said Lily Goldberger, a senior from Allegan.
Aminna Injinash, a first-year from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, offered a few words of advice on how to better support the Asian community.
“It was so heartbreaking to see how the Asian American elders had recently lost their lives just because of their races, the way they were born,” said Injinash. “The best way to support the Asian community starts with individuals, within ourselves, because we all constitute the Albion College community. If anyone around you makes any actions that humiliate someone, especially based on one’s ethnicity or race, I would say please try to influence them not letting it be, not ignoring the circumstances.”
Injinash suggested that Albion students should continue to be vocal about issues of inclusion and understanding across cultural lines.
“The policy implication introduced in the orientation meeting helps the students to become more aware of the differentiation in culture, ethnicity, and race. I want Albion college to keep informing the students about how racism in the college area, and also in life, would affect someone’s life. Also when the world becomes normal, I hope many intercultural events will be organized which share the greatness,” said Injinash.
Other students agreed with injinash and expressed that they feel as though Albion isn’t showing the Asian Community enough support.
“In regards to support for the Asian Community on campus, I personally see little to no engagement on the side of the college. They are quick to walk hand in hand with us when it’s convenient, yet slink away when we ask for real support,” said Marshall Wood, a sophomore from Bay City. “The only way we can improve this point of contention is to walk forward and have an open and honest conversation with not only the college but other Umbrella groups on campus to unify our efforts to build a strong support system.“
Students also suggested that administrative support could go toward AAG, specifically in the form of giving the group an adequate meeting space.
“I think that the college should provide AAG with an adequate meeting space. Umbrella [house] isn’t available to us, and that needs work,” said Jonathan Stander, a junior from Grosse Point.
In order to make the biggest change, support from both college administration and peers should be year round, not limited to something that is expressed during certain tragedies.
“Asian hate didn’t just start now or with COVID-19,” said Goldberger. “This country has an extensive history of sexual violence against Asian women that has been normalized and it’s something often not talked about. There aren’t enough conversations about the model minority myth, perpetual-foreigner syndrome, and the exotification and fetishization of Asian women. We are not a monolith and these issues are real. Addressing these issues would be a great start.”