Letter to the Editor: Stand with your AAPI Panthers



Guest writer PIERR representative discusses the importance of protecting Asian American students at UNI following racial injustices and attacks across the country.

The hate-fueled attacks and harassments targeting Asian Americans are appalling. PIEER students condemn the series of recent hate-motivated events against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, otherwise known as AAPI populations. Such acts are unacceptable and we must all ensure a safe environment for our AAIP community. We in PIEER remain determined and deeply committed to upholding and realizing our equity and social justice values.

According to Pew Research, the Asian American population is a diverse community. Twenty million Asian Americans trace their ancestral roots back to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, each with their own histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics. 

As Americans that contribute to the diversity and strength of their country, they make up an important part of our everyday life and deserve the same amount of respect, safety and freedom as promised by the U.S. Constitution to every citizen. Our visitors also deserve respect, safety in movement and freedom from harassment and harm.

The pandemic that has struck the entire globe is a crisis of humanity.  It is not the “fault” of any particular culture or race.  It arose out of scientifically understandable changes in viral populations that are part of the processes of life on this planet.  While there is action we can take to reduce the chance of pandemics taking hold again, they are for humanity to solve together without blame or scapegoating.

To understand and be an ally for racial justice, the first step is to educate ourselves on the history of anti-Asian racism and understand how stereotypes, racial bias and xenophobia have been impacting wellbeing. The UNI administration and community should show support and solidarity with the Asian community and also take protective measures for its students’ safety and well-being. We request UNI to create a safe space for Asian and Asian American students to advocate for themselves in the face of racial crisis. This trend of hate crimes has to end for the wellbeing of all our community. 

If not a member of the AAPI community, please be a friend and ally to those you know who are; reach out and show support.  Let’s show the AAPI community that they have support here.