To whom it may concern,
We, the Asian Pacific American Coalition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, stand in solidarity with the students of color at the University of Missouri who have experienced and continue to experience racial terror.
As fellow students of color, we understand. Four years ago, a South Asian law professor was slashed in the throat at a local train station while the perpetrator cried “This is my country!” Two years later, former Chancellor Phyllis Wise, then the most powerful Asian woman on campus, was the target of vicious hate speech on Twitter that included sexist and racist comments, comparisons to Kim Jong Un and Hitler, and death threats.
We are in the year 2015, yet threats to people of color still persist. We cannot call our era a “post-racial society” when fellow students fear for their lives, are called derogatory racial expletives, and are alienated for no other reason than their skin color. Death threats and students shouting racial epithets and “White power!” to students of color are not to be taken lightly. It is not an easy task for students to decide whether to take their exam or risk being shot. The recent events at the University of Missouri only showcase that there is still work to be done.
As minorities facing similar racial hurdles, we understand. However, to say we understand does not mean that our encounters with oppression are universal. Instead, we want to express that the students of color at University of Missouri are not alone in their struggle. We will continue to stand with the students of color at the University of Missouri as they dismantle racism on their campus.
Asian Pacific American Coalition at UIUC