Glassman denounces xenophobia in email

Elizabeth Taylor, Associate News Editor

University President David Glassman sent an email to all current Eastern students denouncing racism against Asian Americans Friday afternoon. 

The email was in response to shootings which occurred last week in Atlanta, GA, which some believe were specifically targeting Asian women. 

According to data analyzed by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, the number of hate crimes against Asian people increased by nearly 150 percent in 2020. 

Like many other commentators, Glassman credited this rise in violence to “ignorance and misguided rhetoric surrounding the global COVID pandemic.”

Glassman said he spoke on behalf of Eastern’s administration as well as himself with a message of support to the school’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

“It’s clear that despite the progress we have made as individuals and as a country, the struggle for racial and social equality in America continues,” Glassman said. “We must leverage current events as decisive, teachable moments for everyone in our EIU community, and remind ourselves daily of the categorical responsibilities we share in advancing the common good.”

“By further familiarizing ourselves with the socio-cultural contributions of those we share the world with, we become better prepared to educate others on how interconnected and reliant on each other we actually are,” Glassman said. “Though our own academic year ends in early May, I’d strongly encourage every member of our EIU community to seek out opportunities to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.”

Glassman shared an article called “How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism” from Learning for Justice, a nonprofit organization which offers free resources to educators with the intention to “be a catalyst for racial justice.”

The article discusses and dismantles false connections made between Chinese people and the COVID-19 pandemic and offers advice on what to do if an individual hears someone making racist statements. 

 

Elizabeth Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]