December 16th, 2015
AAPA Stands with our Brothers & Sisters Against Anti-Muslim Hate, Xenophobia, and Bigotry
As an organization dedicated to advance the mental health and well-being of Asian Americans, we cannot stand by and watch the rhetoric of hate, fear, and violence permeate the country. Our Arab, Sikh, South Asian, African-American, and Muslim brothers and sisters are the targets of incendiary political exploitation, international terrorist attacks, and hate crimes across the U.S.
We know from our own US history that anti- Asian and anti-religious sentiment has resulted in racists laws and policies such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, and proposals to ban Catholic immigrants into the US during the 19th and 20th centuries. Those were examples of xenophobic and anti-religious sentiment that escalated into detrimental actions by our government and supported by the public.
Research with Japanese Americans whose family members were interned during WWII has shown that trauma caused by a climate of fear, hate, violence, and social exclusion have long-term negative consequences across multiple generations. Recent psychological research has also documented the deleterious effects of anti-Muslim hate (including violence, bullying, and discrimination) on Muslim Americans as well as Sikh Americans who are often misidentified. It is clear that the aftermath of racist laws and actions affect the psyche of both the individual and community, and does not promote inclusiveness, healing, or trust.
We can do better. We do not have to repeat history. We encourage AAPA members to raise our voice against hate and to stand with our brothers and sisters who are being targeted in the current climate of fear and hate. We ask you to reach out to colleagues, friends, neighbors, students and family. Be a facilitator in promoting understanding and healing. Take action against anti-Muslim hate, xenophobia, and bigotry and stand as Asian Americans building the dreams and promise this country holds for us.