BCNM Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

18 Mar, 2021

BCNM Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

To the BCNM Community:

I know that many of us feel heartsick and enraged over the murders of eight people, including six Asian women, at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area on Tuesday. Sadly, that act of brutality is not an isolated incident but is part of a surge in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people in the U.S. As the first Asian American Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media, and as a first-generation American and woman, this hate crime hits particularly close to home. Gender-based violence, the fetishization and hypersexualization of AAPI women and women of many ethnicities, and racialized violence against many communities, especially against Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern and North African (MENA), and AAPI peoples, continue to be systemic problems in our society.

The Berkeley Center for New Media stands with AAPI and all BIPOC people at UC Berkeley and beyond, and condemns race- and gender-based violence in all of their forms. At BCNM, a large part of our mission is to promote technological equity and justice. In response to the current wave of anti-Asian violence, we are planning two events that will take place in the 2021-22 academic year which will focus on how mass media and social media represent AAPI people, how media industries, genres, and platforms are being used both to facilitate and combat violence against AAPI peoples, and what media and tech workers and users can do to reduce harms against AAPI individuals and communities. We will announce details about both events as soon as we finalize them, and will look forward to your participation. In the meantime, please feel free to raise your concerns or questions about the recent disturbing events in Atlanta, and their ties to other painful instances of race- and gender-based violence, in your BCNM courses, at BCNM's public events, and in the meetings of our BCNM working groups, The Color of New Media and the New Media Working Group (email me if you want to join either).

Stay safe,