Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Stopping Anti-Asian hate is on all of us

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board. 

Speaking about anti-Asian racism within our community is long overdue. The fact that it took a hate crime for us to finally address this is unfortunate, but here we are. 

Last Tuesday, March 16, six Asian women were murdered in Atlanta by a white man. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes. It’s important to remember that Asians have been mistreated in this country since it’s beginning, this issue existed for decades before COVID-19, and it will continue after the virus is controlled.

This racism that has recently come to the forefront of our national news landscape also exists within our own community.

There is a clear divide between domestic students and Asian American and Asian international students on our campus. We all see it and know it’s been around since before we even got here. But it’s still our responsibility to work toward bettering ourselves and our community. 

Even here at The Student, we need to work on including Asian and Asian American voices on our staff and in our coverage.   

We need to reflect on our behavior, recognize the effects of our actions and be active with inclusion efforts. We talk about community a lot at this school, but all of us are at fault in ostracizing entire groups of people on campus. 

It’s not just students either. We have created a culture on campus that allows for students to judge or rate professors badly if they are Asian, and use their own biases as an excuse to justify a bad grade. Just because a professor is Asian or Asian American doesn’t mean they are any less qualified to teach a course, and it doesn’t give students the right to assume so. 

While it’s easy to think that we direct this sort of behavior only toward Asian international students, we also must recognize that this kind of ignorance and bias is commonly directed toward Asian American students as well. 

Miami has a track record of racist behavior, and it’s on everyone in the Miami community to put an end to it. 

While we as students have all played individual roles in creating this environment, administration also needs to step up and stand against this kind of hate. 

There was a small statement made in last week’s Division of Student Life email. It was 58 words with a few student resources tacked on at the end. 

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It’s just not enough. None of this is. While we are glad the Division of Student Life made a statement, we want to see actionable statements from the rest of our university's leadership. 

This division in our community that creates a strong sense of otherness for Asian students is completely unacceptable. It’s easy to say we want to do better, but the fact is we need to do better — otherwise we will continue contributing to this systemic oppression. 

We have so many resources available to us that can act as educational tools. We need to learn how to be better on our own time. It's an effort we can’t afford to brush off. 

On a student level, we need an individualized approach. We need to do what we can to educate ourselves so that we can be better and work toward creating a community that is inclusive for everyone on our campus. 

More importantly, we need to address our privilege. Just because an issue doesn’t directly affect you, does not mean that it doesn’t matter. 

We got here by ignoring our implicit biases and racism. We need to start paying attention, and holding others and ourselves accountable for our words and actions. Don’t let that one person in your group get away with saying something ignorant and racist because they think they have a dark sense of humor — it’s really not funny. 

On a university level, we need a statement and a plan. We know you set aside a few words to condemn what happened last Tuesday, but we need more than that from President Crawford and the Office of the Provost. 

We can’t change systemic oppression without the help of the system itself. The administration needs a genuine statement, and a follow-up plan to help inclusion efforts here on campus. 

All of these steps will only make us stronger. We’ve all contributed to creating this divide — let’s start putting our actions toward changing our campus culture, and the system it perpetuates.

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