KTP and FSU clubs speak out against Asian American Attacks

The ongoing trend of violence towards Asian Americans has been nationwide


John Harrison

The organizations praised Skyline College for having recently introduced a class on Filipino-American community issues, but calls on SMCCD to offer more courses like it in order to help “ensure that history does not repeat itself.”

Two Filipino-American student organizations in the San Mateo Community College District released a statement on March 7 regarding the recent attacks against Asian Americans across the country.

In a joint statement, the Filipinx Student Union at Skyline College and Katipunan at the College of San Mateo expressed their concern about the spike of violent hate crimes against Asian Americans, particularly against elderly individuals within the community. In the statement, they focused on denouncing white supremacy and finding solutions to end all racially-motivated attacks.

“Because of these recent attacks, the injustices that AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) members have been enduring for centuries has finally been brought to the forefront of BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color)’s fight against racism,” the statement said.

According to a study conducted by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernandino, the hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed nearly 120% in 2020 compared to the results in 2019. The study concentrated on 16 of the US’ largest cities.

“Our goal, to me, was making sure that the statement not only continues conversations but to uplift stories with hope,” said Angeli Ong, Katipunan’s president. “Making sure that we say stories with meaning not only to spread the word but remind ourselves how we can change, heal, or forgive that.”

The Filipinx Student Union and Katipunan believe the misconceptions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the controversial comments made by US leaders have played a decisive role in the rise in hate crimes.

“Statements by our former US president did not help the AAPI community, but further escalated the racism, hate, and violence by labeling COVID-19 the ’Chinese Virus’ instead,” the statement said. “As a result, suspicion and scapegoating of the AAPI community have heightened. These actions have put a target on the backs of many innocent Asian Americans.”

The plan continues to list several actions the two organizations have agreed to condemn. These actions include:

– hate crimes and acts of violence against the AAPI community.
– being bystanders when witnessing an attack.
– racist comments and wrongful labeling of the APPI community in relation to the COVID-19 virus.
– institutions contributing to the ongoing attacks by not raising awareness.
– the normalization of the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans.
– prioritizing personal image over standing with the AAPI community.
– police brutality and lack of care towards AAPI life.

The statement also listed their preferred steps to a possible solution regarding the recent attacks, and requests for different demands that could benefit the community:

– not allowing police to be the first responders to mental health crises in order to help stop the police brutality happening against marginalized communities.
– the creation of more ethnic studies classes and programs in both high school and higher education aimed at inspiring the youth to understand and rewrite history for our generations.
– the administration at (Skyline College and the College of San Mateo) to denounce white supremacy and continue to properly inform students of recent events.
– solidarity throughout our communities; we need to come together if change is to happen.

“As our research piled up, words came together, and community members showed up to support, our goal developed into something deeper,” said Caitlin Collantes, FSU’s treasurer and acting secretary. “It was no longer just continuing to bring awareness to the racially motivated attacks against the AAPI community, but also to end this violent cycle by pushing for more ethnic studies courses.”

The organizations praised Skyline College for having recently introduced a class on Filipino-American community issues, but calls on SMCCD to offer more courses like it in order to help “ensure that history does not repeat itself.”

In the future, the Filipinx Student Union and Katipunan plan to reconnect to team up and host workshops, group discussions, and other events to discuss issues concerning the APPI community. They strongly urge all members of the community, including those with no previous involvement in the organizations, to come together.

“Our goal is to inspire and encourage the youth to understand how racism is played out in our daily lives, make connections to history of anti-Asian violence in the United States, and to learn from these lessons,” the statement said.