NCFR Board of Directors' Statement on Anti-Asian Violence
The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) condemns the perpetration of violence and hate crimes against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community and mourns the murders of individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, most recently the deaths of six women of Asian descent in the Atlanta area. Data from the Center for Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino indicates that in 2020, anti-Asian hate crimes increased 149%. NCFR grieves not only with the families who have lost loved ones, but also with all Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander families who suffer the trauma, anxiety, and fear resulting from being verbally, emotionally, and physically targeted because of one’s race.
While hate and violence toward those of Asian and Pacific Islander descent is not new, the dramatic spike in violence against them is currently drawing national attention. The fear and scapegoating rooted in economic, political, and social tensions and uncertainty during the pandemic has exposed deep-seated anti-Asian racism in America. Historically, the lived experience and diversity among Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Island individuals and families has been minimized and ignored through the intersecting stereotypes of the model minority and the perpetual foreigner. The Asian and Asian American community is often used as a divisive mechanism to demean and control other racial/ethnic minorities and further perpetuate systematic institutional racism. The community of those who have Asian and Pacific Islander heritage is one of the most understudied in research, and national public policy initiatives to address racism often omit this community. Finally, the sexual fetishization of women of Asian descent has objectified them, denied their humanity, and made them vulnerable to sexual violence. Unfortunately, hate and violence toward these women are often minimized or unnoticed, further marginalizing them, even within the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community. To learn more about this history, please begin with the additional resources listed below.
As family scholars and practitioners, now is the time to both learn and act. We need to avail ourselves of every opportunity to learn about the historic and current experiences of discrimination, marginalization, and threat suffered by the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community. We need to listen to our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander colleagues, students, and the families we serve in order to understand both the experiences of racism they share with all racial minoritized families and their unique experiences with racism as part of the community of those who have Asian and Pacific Islander heritages. And we need to act. NCFR must continue the work we began after the death of George Floyd to dismantle White supremacy wherever it exists; in our workplaces, our communities, and our nation. We must use our energy and resources to grow as an anti-racist organization and develop racially just, and evidence-based curricula, programs, research, and policies that promote the dignity of all minoritized people, including those in the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community.
We thank members of the International Section, the Asian American Focus Group, and the Korean Families Focus Group for their compilation of resources for understanding and supporting families of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. We also encourage further collaboration in NCFR to develop strategies for tackling anti-Asian racism. We believe that holistically recognizing and addressing racism targeted at ethnically, culturally, and racially marginalized communities can catalyze our actions to dismantle White supremacy and racial injustice. One of many ways this can be achieved is through submissions to the Board’s call for submissions to the Racial Justice Resources webpage. We also welcome comments to the Board through our website contact form. We believe all NCFR members are committed to creating a society free from racial violence and oppression, and we want to support members’ work towards this end as it relates to the community of Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders and all ethnically/racially marginalized communities.
—The NCFR Board of Directors
Shih, K. Y., Chang, T.-F., & Chen, S.-Y. (2019). Impacts of the model minority myth on Asian American individuals and families: Social justice and critical race feminist perspectives. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 11, 412-428. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12342
Asian American Bar Association of New York, & Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison LLP. (2021). A rising tide of hate and violence against Asian Americans in New York during Covid-19: Impact, causes, solutions. https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/press_releases/2021/A_Rising_Tide_of_Hate_and_Vi.pdf
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (2019). Inside the numbers: How immigration shapes AsianAmerican and Pacific Islander communities. Retrieved from: https://www.advancingjustice-aajc.org/sites/default/files/2019-07/1153_AAJC_Immigration_Final_0.pdf
Chow, K. (2017, April). ‘Model minority’ myth again used as a racial wedge between Asians and Blacks. NPR- Code Switch: Race and identity, remixed. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/04/19/524571669/model-minority-mythagain-used-as-a-racial-wedge-between-asians-and-blacks
Bieber, J., Gong, S., Young, D., Fifer, S. J., Tsien, J. (Series Executive Producers) & Tajima-Peña, R., Chian, S.L., Lee, G., & Gandbhir, G. (2020). Asian Americans [TV Series]. WETA Washington, DC, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) for PBS in association with the Independent Television Services (ITVS), Flash Cuts, and Tajima-Peña Productions.