I join the Princeton University community and people everywhere in mourning the victims of last night’s horrific shootings in Atlanta. Though the killings remain under investigation, these attacks come amidst a disturbing nationwide rise in violence, discrimination, and xenophobia directed against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
As scholars including Princeton’s own Anne Cheng and Beth Lew-Williams have demonstrated in research and public commentary, these trends are only the most recent and visible manifestations of durable, damaging, and too often overlooked racism and injustice. We must condemn not only recent acts of violence against Asian Americans, but also the much more pervasive discrimination and stereotyping that has for too long and too often harmed Asian American lives and impoverished our society.
As I said last June after the cruel killing of George Floyd, we all have an obligation to stand up against racism, wherever and whenever we find it. We are reminded again today, and all too often, that racism’s vile poison blights the lives of many different groups and people. As Princeton commits itself to fight for an ever more fully inclusive and equitable society, on our campus and beyond it, we must stand for and with all the groups who contribute to the beautiful and vibrant diversity of our University, our country, and the world.
Princeton’s Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community is a vital source of creativity and strength for this University. Our future depends on ensuring that they, and people of all backgrounds, can flourish fully here and in America. In our scholarship, our teaching, and our University’s efforts to fight systemic racism, we will continue to support and work with our AAPI students, faculty, staff, and alumni to build a better world.