The Association for Social Economics expresses deep concern and outrage at the murders and targeting of three Atlanta-area businesses on March 16, 2021 in which a male shooter killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent and service workers. We stand in solidarity with Asian Americans during this time of intensified white supremacy that has led to heightened racism and xenophobia.
As scholars dedicated to the study of inequality and social justice, we denounce acts of xenophobia and racism of any kind. Anti-Asian discrimination has a long history in the United States and has repeatedly contributed to the exploitation and exclusion of Asians/Asian Americans. Racism directed at Asian/Asian American women has an even more troubled history. The United States’ first anti-immigration legislation, the Page Act of 1875, directly targeted and prohibited the entry of Chinese women. Furthermore, Asian and Asian American women have been consistently dehumanized, sexualized, and depicted as subservient objects of male fantasy and violence in American popular culture and public discourse.
In today’s economy, a large proportion of personal service workers are women, immigrants, and migrant workers, many of whom are Asian. We recognize that personal service workers, who perform intimate care work and other similar labor, are in vulnerable positions, when intimate aggression, gender- and sexual-based, as well as racial violence are rampant in our societies.
As members of multi-racial democracies, we are obliged to take seriously how the history of anti-Asian discrimination and notions of white supremacy drive these recent events. We will continue to speak out and work against dehumanizing individuals, groups, communities, occupations, and workplaces.