IU Asian Culture Center’s Statement in Response to the Stabbing of Asian Student
January 12, 2023
On Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, an 18-year-old Asian American student was stabbed in a horrific and targeted anti-Asian hate crime. Our thoughts go out to the victim of this horrendous act, to her family, and to everyone in the community who is affected by this racial violence.
We are outraged and heartbroken by this unprovoked act of violence, but we also worry for the well-being of our community. We should not be fearing for our lives on public transportation. Taking the bus should not feel dangerous.
At our emergency meeting last night, some students expressed concerns for their safety and were afraid, while others with anger recalled the times, they witnessed or experienced racial discrimination while riding the bus. Instances like this should remind everyone that racism continues to exist not just elsewhere, in large cities, but right here in our town.
For students reading this, we urge you to speak up and share your feelings of fear and rage. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable taking public transportation, please travel with friends when possible and be aware of your surroundings. Advocate for yourself, others, and the community.
The fact that the perpetrator announced that race was the motivation for her attack sends a jolt through our Asian community. But it is becoming a familiar jolt. Some will claim this was a random act that came “out of the blue,” but when a white man, Dana Ericson, put a hatchet in the back of 18-year-old Yue Zhang in Nashville, Indiana in 2016–announcing that he did it because he “hated these people” --it was “out of the blue.” When Benjamin Smith, a white man, and avowed white supremacist, shot Won Joon Yoon to death outside a church on 3rd Street in 1999, it was “out of the blue.” We have to ask why our community continues to deny the obvious pattern of Asian hate and see these as random acts.
We ask that the people of Bloomington and IU stand with their Asian friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, and fellow community members in condemning racial violence against Asians. To support the Asian community, the Asian Culture Center along with the Office of Student Affairs and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at IUB will be offering spaces for students and the community to come together to share and process feelings of fear, sadness, anger, and anxiety. The first listening circle will take place at 3 pm today at the IU Asian Culture Center, 807 E. 10th Street.
In addition to providing support, we implore the public and the City of Bloomington to start conversations about the current racial climate in our city and state. We hope this racial crime in particular will not become another "moment of violence" against AAPI's. The violence must stop! We all deserve to work, study, and live in a safe environment, and we urge leaders and individuals to begin having these difficult conversations to make Bloomington a place that we can call a safe home.