STATEMENT FROM CHARLES R. DREW UNIVERSITY IN SUPPORT OF THE ASIAN, ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN COMMUNITY

As a health professions institution of higher education founded on the principles of social justice and equity for all people, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science declares its unequivocal support for the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander American Community in the wake of the heartbreaking shootings in Atlanta. 

We are keeping the families and friends of those killed so tragically in our thoughts and prayers. 

While the motive for the shooting is officially under investigation, what isn’t in dispute is the rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and racist attacks against Asian community members—who are also American citizens. This is occurring at a time when total hate crimes against all minority groups experienced a drop of seven percent, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State San Bernardino. 

It is difficult not to draw a connection between these attacks and the inflammatory—and patently false—labeling of the last year’s pandemic as a “China virus” by the previous administration. As a country, we have moved on politically from those last four years, but clearly, vestiges of that intolerant rhetoric remain embedded in our society. As a result, we must work together to: 

  • Declare that racist rhetoric and physical attacks must stop immediately. 
  • Educate those who still may hold these views that they are inaccurate and wrong. 
  • Hold those who continue to engage in intolerant language and criminal racist actions legally accountable for their words and deeds

We are a diverse country of many peoples, cultures and languages. Despite other episodes of racially motivated language and violence in our history, diversity is a strength and unifying principle for our country. 

Thus, we are hopeful it will be recognized as the tremendous force for good that it can be, and we again emphasize our solidarity with the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander American Community during this painful time for them—and for us all.