Collective Action Addressing Racism: In Solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community
Our organizations, which represent the members of leading medical organizations, condemn the killings, violence, abuse, racism and bias aimed at people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic has only been compounded by this violence and persecution. This racism, bias and abuse must stop.
As leaders in women’s health care, we recognize that the recent violence targeted toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community—in all its breadth and diversity—has disproportionately affected women. According to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center, Asian American and Pacific Islander women reported hate incidents 2.3 times more often than men. Reports reflect intersecting race-based and gender-based discrimination and violence.
As experts in science and medicine, we condemn the rumors and conspiracies that target Asian American and Pacific Islander people. Last year, many of our organizations issued a Collective Action Addressing Racism in obstetrics and gynecology in which we acknowledged that committing to a better future requires an honest examination of the past and present. The pattern of bias, discrimination, racism and violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, particularly related to falsehoods around public health crises, is not new and has deep historical roots. With respect to women’s health care in particular, research suggests the United States has a history of coerced and/or forced sterilizations of Japanese-American women in incarceration camps. It is also important to acknowledge and confront the broad hypersexualization of Asian American women in the United States. We disavow the dehumanization of Asian American and Pacific Islander women, which positions them as targets for abuse.
We are grateful to advocates and activists in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community who are leading efforts to confront bias, racism, stereotyping, and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We commit to supporting and amplifying the necessary and transformative work; looking inward to ensure that our organizations do not perpetuate harmful and negative stereotypes; and working with partners toward ensuring the safety and well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islander people. This process includes building and reinforcing allyship across generations, races and ethnicities, and genders.