Once again we are saddened and dismayed by a horrific act of violence in the United States, this time mass shootings in the Atlanta area that have left eight people dead and one critically injured, seven of them women and six of them of Asian descent.
It is clear that this is another violent act motivated by a convergence of misogyny and racism. At a time when we are seeing high levels of verbal and physical violence against the Asian-American community, we are deeply disturbed by attempts to obfuscate or diminish the role of anti-Asian racism and white supremacy in this attack.
Sadly, this attack joins a too-long list of such acts of domestic terrorism motivated by racism and white supremacy. Living and working in Pittsburgh, we know first hand the pain of such events with the memories of the deadly anti-Semitic shootings at Tree of Life still fresh in our minds. We collectively express solidarity with our students, our colleagues, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and pledge to support them and their health and safety at Pitt, in Pittsburgh, and beyond.
And we also state--with purpose and intention--that we will continue to teach about and study the experiences of those who are part of minoritized and marginalized communities. Our courses and our scholarship are deeply concerned with illuminating intersecting racial, ethnic, national, religious, class, gender, and sexual identities. Our work contributes to deeper understanding of the structures of oppression and hatred that affect minorities and minoritized groups but also to deeper understanding of the historical and cultural experiences of the members of these groups.
We invite all members of the Pitt community to work with us to further understanding, diversity, and inclusion, and to combat the racism and sexism that underlie these attacks.
Department of Religious Studies
Department of Africana Studies
Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program
Jewish Studies Program
Department of Communication
Asian Studies Center
Global Studies Center
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
(We welcome other departments, programs, and centers at the University of Pittsburgh to join us in this statement and to share this statement freely with their faculty, staff, and students.)