The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to an increase in xenophobia, anti-Asian rhetoric, and violence against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. In the early months of the pandemic, there were reports of race-driven slurs, threats, and violence against the AAPI community and these acts have continued to escalate. The recent murder of six Asian American women in Georgia and the targeted violence against older Asian adults has caused additional trauma and suffering within the AAPI community. We at APS acknowledge these acts as the direct result of racism, white supremacy, and “model minority” stereotypes and add our voices to the many other organizations, advocates, and supporters who stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and who are speaking out against the race-driven discrimination and violence that is targeting this community.
Model minority stereotypes have been applied to AAPI individuals for generations and continue to cause significant harm by overlooking vast heterogeneity and disparities in health, education, and income between AAPI ethnic groups. The invoking of these stereotypes also serves to silence the voices of the AAPI community and shields acts of violence from visibility. This decreased visibility allows these acts to continue without holding the transgressors accountable for their actions, and prevents progress in addressing the structural racism that gives rise to everyday experiences of discrimination. Further, model minority stereotypes create division between Asian American and other minority racial groups that impede solidarity and that are used to justify racist policies and attitudes towards other people of color. We join the AAPI community in grieving the tragic loss of the Asian American women in Georgia and in bearing witness to the pain and fear that the race-driven violence against the AAPI community is causing.
We at APS continue to encourage our members to take an active stance against racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and marginalization. We seek to lift up the voices of our colleagues from the Asian American Psychological Association in their calls to take action.
The American Psychosomatic Society Antiracism Task Force and Council