ASA Presidents Condemn Anti-Asian Racism

As events of last summer challenged us to confront the systematic racism faced by Black and Latinx members of our community, the horrific events in Atlanta this past week have brought to the attention of the nation a sharp—albeit continued—rise in the anti-Asian racism and violence against the AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] population during the pandemic.

We can debate the motivations for these attacks, but most relevant is that such violence and hatred has persisted and grown over time. Members of the Asian diaspora in the United States have increasingly been victimized by hate crimes, harassment, discrimination, and other forms of mistreatment. Despite the admirable and manifold contributions of the AAPI community to our society, there is a long history of blaming it for various kinds of disasters, all couched with a historical context of persecution of Asian people in the United States stemming back to World War II and beyond.

We, the three presidents of the American Statistical Association, believe we speak for the ASA and the statistical community in condemning this sort of racism in all its forms. We stand with our Asian members and all Asian statisticians and data scientists during this difficult time.

Kimberlé Crenshaw first used the term intersectionality more than 30 years ago to describe the interconnectedness of race, gender, class, and other social constructs. This latest despicable episode targeting Asian women—in combination with the events of the past year against people of color—profoundly illustrate the need for us to come together; acknowledge cultural and institutional bias; and work toward making this society more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive.

It is through the ASA‘s Anti-Racism Task Force and JEDI outreach group that we will collectively continue to find ways to support positive cultural change within and outside our association. We commit that our activities will demonstrate our position on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Undeniably, our association and the statistical community has been greatly enhanced by the contributions of Asian statisticians and data scientists. Please join us in offering comfort and support to our valued members of society and our association who suffer the hand of racism.

Rob Santos, ASA President
Kathy Ensor, ASA President-Elect
Wendy Martinez, ASA Past-President