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A Message on Anti-Asian Violence and the Atlanta Mass Shooting

by Sally J. Kenney

Mar 19, 2021


Newcomb Institute condemns the horrific anti-Asian hate crimes that occurred in Atlanta this week and recognizes that this attack reflects the escalating xenophobia, racism, and misogyny that the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander American community faces today.

The victims of anti-Asian hate crimes, gender-based violence, gun violence, police violence, and violence against women in service professions are not to blame for the crimes men commit against them. From Japanese internment to the Chinese Exclusion Act to the Pacific Coast Riots of 1907 encouraged by the Asiatic Exclusion League, the United States has a long history of discrimination against Asian citizens. 

The recent scapegoating around COVID-19 and the racist rhetoric of the former administration have only made matters worse. In 2020 alone, hate incidents against Asian Americans rose by 150%, with women being targeted at 2.3 times the rate of their male counterparts. Working-class and low-income AAPI women are disproportionately targeted. 

In Ankara, police charged a woman who killed her longtime torturer with murder. In London, police wrestle women protesting gender-based violence to the ground. And this week in Atlanta police excuse the actions of a misogynist white supremacist as someone “having a bad day.”

The shooter’s “temptation to eliminate” Asian women illustrates the deadly consequences of a white supremacist patriarchy that objectifies and fetishizes Asian women. The “lone wolf” theory that all too often accompanies mass shootings, upholds and perpetuates gun violence, misogyny, and racism. 

At Newcomb, our hearts go out to the eight victims, their family members, and all those in pain at this horrible time. We condemn racially-motivated violence, firmly stand in protest of gender-based violence, against state and intimate-partner violence, and with the voices who demand justice and an end to such systematic violence. In these difficult times, we lean on each other and encourage you to seek support from the many resources available through the university and the New Orleans community. 

In compassion and solidarity,

Sally J. Kenney
Newcomb College Endowed Chair
Executive Director, Newcomb Institute
Professor of Political Science

Out of respect for the victims, their families, and the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander American community, we have removed the names of the victims as information continues to be released regarding their identities and the wishes of the families. We apologize for any harm caused by incorrectly identifying the victims in our previous statement.


Tulane and New Orleans Community resources: 

CelebrAsian Week, March 19-26: Join Tulane Asian-American Student Union to promote, celebrate, and raise awareness of Asian and Asian-American cultures. 

The Carolyn Barber Pierre Center for Intercultural Life, located in the Richardson Building, is currently providing space for a common gathering area for students, faculty, and staff to be together, to grieve, and to find a moment of quiet reflection.  Students who may need personal assistance during this time can find resources for in-person, remote of after-hours support provided by Student Affairs. The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support. 

Our Newcomb Inclusivity and Diversity Excellence (NIDE) Committee is working to ensure that our programming meets the needs of our diverse students; we are currently seeking student members to join our committee.

Support VAYLA, an intersectional AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) nonprofit organization based in New Orleans focused on advocacy through providing climate and reproductive justice education, community organizing education, and comprehensive civic engagement. Follow VAYLA on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Articles and Resources:

Speaking up Against Racism Around the Coronavirus: Learn about the history and context of racializing public health events

2021 COVID-19 anti-xenophobia and anti-racist information resources 

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Racist Harassment Coping Guide

Don't Be A Bystander: Six Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks, a video production by Barnard Center for Research on Women and Project NIA

How to Be an Ally to the Asian American Community” by Michelle Yang, Reader’s Digest, March 9, 2021

"The Answer to Anti-Asian Racism is Not More Policing" by Kayla Hui, Truthout, March 17, 2021

"Critical Race Theory is Not Anti-Asian" by Mari Matsuda, Reappropriate, March 12, 2021

"Ignoring the History of Anti-Asian Racism is Another Form of Violence" by Connie Wun, Elle, March 1, 2021

Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Are on the Rise. Many Say More Policing Isn't the Answer” by Cady Lang,Time, February 18, 2021

If you are interested in learning about the federal response to violence against Asian Americans, please register here for a panel discussion with representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice on March 29, 2021 - 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM ET. Hosted by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. 

Anti-Asian Violence Resources, provided by the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)


  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs with Scott Kurashige (University of California Press, 2012)
  • Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and Law in the North American West by Nayan Shah (University of California Press, 2012)
  • Freedom With Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the U.S. State by Chandan Reddy (Duke University Press, 2011)
  • Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America by Mae Ngai(Princeton University Press, 2005) 
  • Passing It On: A Memoir by Yuri Kochiyama (UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 2004)
  • Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics by Lisa Lowe (Duke University Press 1996) 

Organizations to Support

Organizing Asian and Migrant Sex Workers


New Orleans


Please note: This is not a comprehensive list.