The Daily Bruin won’t accept the term “womyn”* in their news magazine because of “journalistic balance” and wants to change it to “women”. They can accept the terms “whore” and “sluts” yet not womyn? Again, the API and womyn community on campus are being silenced! APC stands to represent all API womyn on campus and thus will NOT be publishing our letter to the DB. Our official letter instead is posted below:
To the UCLA Community:
This past week, two incidents have occurred on the UCLA campus that have prompted concern in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. On the morning of Tuesday, November 27, 2012, a piece of paper that said, “Asian women R Honkie white-boy worshipping whores!!!” with a clipart of a middle finger was posted outside the Vietnamese Student Union’s office. The next day, a comment was written in a stall of the girls’ bathroom in Powell Library that said, “Asian Women Are White-Boy Worshipping Sluts!” The fact that these incidents occurred on campus and that they happened one day apart shows the alarming campus climate of the UCLA campus and the continued presence of racism that is still prevalent today. The Asian Pacific Coalition, the official Asian American and Pacific Islander voice, issues the following statement in response to these incidents:
These acts of vandalism are racist and misogynistic, drawing upon the stereotypes of Asian womyn that have been perpetuated throughout history. The vandalism draws upon the historical perceptions of Asian womyn being impure sexual tools to be owned. These stereotypes are not only offensive: they also blatantly disregard the diversity of the Asian and Pacific Islander community, especially Asian and Pacific Islander womyn.
By bringing this offensive image of Asian and Pacific Islander womyn to the forefront on the UCLA campus twice in one week, the acts of vandalism highlight the dangers that Asian and Pacific Islander womyn face on campus. They are being targeted not only on the basis of their race, but also their gender, and this is extremely concerning. UCLA serves as a home away from home for students, yet Asian and Pacific Islander womyn have been threatened. How can they feel safe in a place where there are repeated attacks on womyn of color?
In a larger context, these acts of vandalism are tied to other racist and misogynistic events on campus. Most recently, the Sander report questioned the legitimacy of African American and Chican@ students. Last Spring quarter, an apartment door was vandalized with racist and misogynistic slurs against the Chican@ community. Before that, Alexandra Wallace posted a Youtube video, “Asians in the Library,” that stereotyped the Asian and Pacific Islander community and their culture.
These last few years have proved that the campus climate is getting worse for communities and womyn of color. UCLA is an institution that prides itself on a culture of diversity, respect, tolerance, and acceptance for all communities. But as it stands now, the UCLA campus has proven to us, as Asian and Pacific Islanders, communities of color, and womyn, that UCLA staff and administration must be accountable to us on a systemic level.
As such, the Asian Pacific Coalition demands the following from Chancellor Gene Block an official statement on both incidences:
-More support for ethnic studies and related programs
-More support for culture nights to spread awareness of cultural diversity
-A specific outline of the Principles of Community Initiative and plans of implementation
These incidents prove that we, as a community, must create a space where there is a safe discussion on the campus climate of UCLA and how we all can respect one another in a mutual manner. This should not be a space where we turn to finger-pointing. Let us all come together as a community to discuss the multi-layered complexities of this issue and turn this campus back to what it stands for.
Asian Pacific Coalition
Afrikan Student Union
American Indian Student Association
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan
Muslim Student Association
Pacific Islands Student Association
Vietnamese Student Union
* To see why we have used the alternative spelling of “women,” please see: “Woman, Womyn, Wimyn, Womin, and Wimmin: Why the alternatives spellings”.