“It concerns me that a lot of educational institutions are under scrutiny by elected officials for talking frankly about racism in America. I’d like to see higher education continue to stand by scholars doing research in this area and the students insisting on course offerings related to subject.”
“The horrific violence we saw in Atlanta in March 2021 made some people pay attention to this problem in a new way, I only wish they had paid attention to it earlier.”
Melissa Borja is one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year, a recognition of women across the country who have made a significant impact.
“We imagine this project as not just counting incidents of anti-Asian racism, but collecting hundreds of stories that can help shape the public conversation,” said Melissa Borja, the project’s lead researcher and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies program.
“The racial rhetoric used against Chinese [people] is what’s made it okay to turn Asians into scapegoats. And when we looked at what leaders are using that rhetoric, out of 127 incidents of stigmatizing language and rhetoric, 95% of them were made or shared by White politicians, almost all of them Republican.”
“We are paying attention to forms of non-verbal harassment and verbal harassment, not just physical harassment and violence,” Borja said. “Research suggests, pretty compellingly, that it (stigmatizing rhetoric used by politicians) contributes to harm and racist backlash against Asian Americans.”
“Almost 70 percent of the incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate were done so by women. Research from Virulent Hate, a project run by researchers at the University of Michigan to analyze how Asian-Americans have experienced racism during the pandemic, found a similar pattern when looking at incidents reported in the news media.”
“We know Asian American women are particularly affected by the past year and the anti-Asian racism that we see associated with the pandemic. The impact is really important, and it’s been really striking to me last night and today how sad they are, how angry they are,” she said. “Earlier today I just got off…
“After all the discrimination that Asians have experienced throughout U.S. history — the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the internment camps that forced Japanese Americans to leave their homes during World War II — it’s ‘shocking’ that so many Americans are still surprised by anti-Asian attacks, Borja said. She blames the ‘model minority’ myth.”
“Borja and a team of researchers have spent the past year compiling a list of more than 700 incidents of anti-Asian harassment reported in local news outlets in places as varied as Martinsville, Indiana, and Bayview, California.”