Tuesday’s mass murder in Atlanta returns us to terrible, familiar ground, as we try again to make sense of violence, and calm the terror that was already building within an entire cultural community.
Whether it was intentional or incidental that six of the eight victims were Asian-American women, the tragedy has had the same effect. These vicious killings have shaken the nation’s Asian communities to their cores. The murders came as hate and violence rise against communities scapegoated for the pandemic. The increase in reported attacks mark another painful moment in the long history of exclusion, segregation, and violence in America.
Two weeks ago, we held our second university town hall addressing anti-racism and inclusive excellence at Mason. Tuesday’s acts of targeting and violence remind us how much is riding on that vital work. Because today, members of our Asian communities feel unsafe in their own places of business, their own neighborhoods, and their own homes.
To the Asian communities at George Mason University, I offer this: Mason is your home, and you are loved and supported here. Your safety and sense of belonging are of utmost importance to everyone. As always, our personnel are on watch to ensure your security and wellbeing, so you can resume what you came here to do: to simply learn, live, and grow to your fullest potential.