Sunday, March 21, 2021
Statement on behalf of Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 901
RE: Zero tolerance for racialized, misogynist violence
On behalf of PSAC Local 901 at Queen’s University, we firmly condemn the racist and misogynist attacks targeting the Asian community that occurred in Atlanta on March 16th. This attack killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. As an organization representing 2000+ employees, PSAC Local 901 is deeply disturbed and angered by this act, and we extend ourselves in firm solidarity with the Asian community – both on Queen’s campus and the communities around us.
The attack itself is rooted in the violent history of colonialism and white supremacy in North America. Anti-Asian racism has only grown since the Covid-19 pandemic, spurred on by Orientalist stereotypes and beliefs. These beliefs have only been exacerbated by the imperialist press system that promotes conspiratorial thinking about China and Chinese people. Based in the model minority myth, Asian people have been consistently silenced and pitted against other communities of colour in order to sow racial discord. This has rendered many Asian experiences of racism invisible and made racial solidarity more difficult as well. Additionally, based on the killer’s sexual fantasies, this attack was specifically targeted towards Asian women. This further speaks to the way that Asian women are made docile, compliant, and silent through racist stereotypes, as well as the ways in which these white supremacist beliefs manifest in violence. Many of the victims were also migrant women workers, who are already at a higher risk of violence due to the precarity of their legal status, and the work they often have access to as a result.
The increasing frequency of racist and misogynist acts of violence need to be addressed seriously and in solidarity with those injured, threatened, and negatively affected by these alarming acts. We are firmly committed to the project of racial equality, and we stand with all organizations and community groups to defend the dignity and well-being of Asian people in North America. We are resolved to being a part of all efforts to this end.
At this stressful moment, we would like to open ourselves to every person – be it our member or otherwise, affected by this hateful event. Our resources and support infrastructures are always available for you. In addition to the local, the PSAC Kingston Regional office also welcomes any member who needs support or assistance in the light of this horrible act. For more resources around anti-Asian racism, please refer to the ‘Racism is a Virus’ toolkit by Act to Change: https://acttochange.org/resources/educational-resources-toolkit/200804_pagelayout-3/ .