The Library wishes to express profound sadness and anger about recent acts of violence against Asian and Asian-American people. Eight people, mostly women, were taken in a mass shooting on March 16, 2021 in Atlanta. On March 29th, a 65-year old woman was brutally attacked in Manhattan as she walked to church, the assault ignored by onlookers. A day later, a Wesleyan student was a victim of anti-Asian harassment. He was verbally assaulted and spat at, only minutes after a vigil to honor those murdered in Atlanta.
We join with President Roth in speaking up and standing in solidarity with the Asian and Asian-American community, and will not tolerate oppression of any kind. We call out the use of othering rhetoric which has cast people of Asian heritage as a “peril” to a white-majority country, and fomented hateful actions, opinions, and policies throughout American history. We challenge the racist ideology of people emboldened by the current political climate, who have scapegoated Asians, and specifically Chinese people, for the coronavirus and the hardship it caused.
We stand with and honor the Asian and Asian-American activists who are leading the fight against this racism. The library is collaborating with Wesleyan Asian and Asian-American student groups and welcomes any and all additional conversations about how we can better support each other. To further equity and justice, we resolve to evaluate and uproot hurtful biases, policies, and practices within our work now and into the future. Our staff are currently examining collections, spaces, services, and staffing. We are also engaged in broader conversations about fighting systemic racism within our national professional organizations. We are committed to this work and to making the Wesleyan Library a place where all members of the Wesleyan and Middletown communities feel a sense of safety and belonging.