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Department of Political Science Statement on Anti-Asian Racism

The Department of Political Science at McMaster University acknowledges and condemns a long history of anti-Asian racism in Canada, and its links to a horrifying rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic. We stand in solidarity with Asian communities at home and around the world in condemning all forms of racial injustice and acknowledging in particular the suffering that Asian people continue to endure as a result of systemic anti-Asian racism.

Apr 05, 2021

The Department of Political Science at McMaster University stands in solidarity with Asian communities at home and around the world in condemning all forms of racial injustice and acknowledging in particular the suffering that Asian people continue to endure as a result of systemic anti-Asian racism.

We mourn the tragic murder of eight people, six of them Asian American women, in Georgia on March 16, 2021.  We recognize that although these killings have focused public attention on anti-Asian racism, harassment and attacks on people of Asian descent have escalated significantly during the pandemic, in the US and even more so in Canada (Project1907.org). We recognize that although racist rhetoric about the supposed origins of COVID-19 has emboldened racist attackers, the roots of anti-Asian racism in Canada run much deeper, from the Chinese Head Tax in 1885, to turning away the Komagata Maru in 1914, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923, the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II, and more recently the anti-Asian racism during and after the SARS outbreak in 2003.

We see and condemn the way these historical patterns of othering play out today. Asian members of our community may be grappling with fears about their own safety and the need to protect Asian elders, with the weight of sometimes daily reports of anti-Asian violence, and too often, a lack of recognition from institutions and individuals that these are hate crimes directed against Asian people.

We also see the strength of Asian Canadian and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. We wish to support and amplify the voices of activists, scholars, and organizations who are protesting, educating, and working for an end to anti-Asian hate, and we stand in solidarity with them.

We include below a list of organizations where individuals can report anti-Asian hate crimes in Canada, and a link to a simple guide for bystander intervention. We encourage department members to review this guide so we are all equipped to intervene if we see someone being harassed or attacked. 

Most importantly, we wish to express to the Asian and Asian-Canadian members of our department, to our Asian colleagues, students, and friends, that we see you, we support you in your struggle for equity and justice, and your lives and experiences matter.

Resources

Guide to bystander intervention from the Center for Urban Pedagogy and Hollaback!

Where to report Anti-Asian hate crimes in Canada:

For further resources, see the Association for Asian Studies’ Statement on Anti-Asian Racism and Violence