We deplore the acts of hatred and racism that have shocked and tainted our campus over the past several weeks, and, like the strikers, seek an administration that will better hear the concerns of student populations that are so easily and readily marginalized. We have been active participants in advocating the amelioration of Ethnic Studies programs for years, and see our intellectual and organizational endeavors as part of this collective campaign for student demands to be met. Moreover, we recognize the inextricable ties between the different issues and concerns that the strikers have put forth, and that any one matter cannot be abstracted from the others.
We celebrate a long-standing history of Asian American students’ participation in struggles for justice and equality, including in the student protests of 1996 at Columbia that led to the formation of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and Asian American Studies as a discipline—-and similar efforts on campuses all across the country. We encourage all concerned students, Asian American or not, at Columbia or elsewhere, to also stand in support of the strikers, and for what they fight.
As famed Asian American activist Yuri Kochiyama once said, "I don't think there will ever be a time when people will stop wanting to bring about change." May this be the next chapter in that legacy of struggle.
-the Asian American Alliance Political Committee of Columbia University