As the Lunar New Year celebrations of last February fade into poignant memories for much of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, those memories have been discolored by the surge of anti-Asian hate in the form of violence, harassment, racial slurs, and other related actions since the pandemic struck. The most vulnerable of these communities, the elderly, have been particularly targeted. In New York, a Filipino man was slashed in the face on the subway. In San Francisco, a Thai native was violently shoved to the ground, dying from his head injuries. In our own Orange County, a Ladera Ranch family has been so constantly harassed by perpetrators, night after night with rocks hurled and hate speech thrown at their property, that neighbors have volunteered to stand guard over their home.
These examples are not new. Our country has been the stage for the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the senseless killing of Vincent Chin. But hate does not simply exist only in the past, and we will not stand for it today. Our own AAPI communities—students, faculty, and staff—are part of the Chapman University family, and we hear your concerns and see you. If you have been the victim of discrimination or bias, please contact our Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office. Our campus also has counseling services available for students, wellness resources for faculty and staff, and Fish Interfaith Center chaplains are available to chat with all Chapman community members.
We stand in solidarity with and support our AAPI students, faculty, and staff. If you would like to support our AAPI communities, please visit Stop AAPI Hate, a non-profit organization, which tracks and responds to incidents of hate against AAPIs in the United States. As we have denounced anti-Black violence over the last summer, we can be no different over anti-Asian hate. We must remember the words of the Filipino American author and activist Carlos Bulosan: “The human heart is bigger than the world.” May our hearts be emboldened to grow in fullness and not falter as we speak against these tragedies. Let us make this a better world for all of us.
Rev. Cisa Payuyo
Associate Director, Office of Church Relations
Coordinator of Special Collections & Archives, Subject Librarian for Art and Film & Media Arts,