Standing in Solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Island Communities
Kim Ridley, Head of School
Once again, we are witness to the socializing forces of white supremacy culture. The most recent headline of Wednesday, March 17 reads, “8 People Killed in Atlanta-Area Massage Parlor Shootings.” “Six of the people murdered were Asian, and two were identified as white (NY Times).” A 21-year-old from Woodstock, Georgia named Robert Aaron Long has been identified as the murderer. I hope I am wrong about my belief that his actions were motivated by hate, as there is not agreed upon confirmation about the reason for these killings, yet the pattern feels all too familiar. The New York Times indicated that there have been “nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents targeting Asian-Americans nationwide since last March, according to Stop AAPI Hate.” We all know that Asians are being unfairly targeted for bringing the coronavirus to the United States. At least, that is the latest reason!
Social conditioning and brainwashing has been, and is currently, the name of this game! What makes the social conditioning so absolutely powerful is the institutional separation that persists in our society. Our laws and policies have set in motion this practice of separation, which is most prominent in our American educational system, including what is left out of our curriculum. The lack of proximity to each other; to hear each other's stories; to study the forces and outcomes of oppression; to see each other's humanity, not just in words, but in our daily living, has created a breathtaking, and toxic kind of ignorance. The kind of ignorance burgeons in social, monocultural isolation. The outcome can be a severing of empathy and connection with ourselves and the larger human community. Sadly, we witness too many examples of this severing of heart and mind throughout our society and history.
Parents, many of you sought a Fayerweather education because you want your children to be seen, heard, noticed, loved, held, and intellectually stimulated. Our ability, as humans, to make sense of the world, grow, and thrive takes place in the space of relationships. Those attachments that we form from birth to death is the fodder that is foundational to our survival. We know this as humans, and yet, we struggle with unpacking practices and policies that so negatively impact our communities.
Our very survival as a nation, world, and planet is dependent on our everyday actions. I believe what is done to you, is done to me, and vice, versa. Adrienne Maree Brown posed this question in her book, Emergent Strategy, “How do we cultivate the muscle of radical imagination needed to dream together beyond fear?” How do we think about ourselves as interconnected--and how can this realization, or awareness, impact the actions we take? It starts with you, and it starts with me. Fayerweather stands in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Island communities against hate, bigotry, and racism!