Dr. XinQi Dong, director of the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, and lead researcher of the Rutgers Asian Resource Center for Minority Aging Research and The PINE Study, issued the following statement in response to anti-Asian racism and violence against Asians across the country.
“As researchers who focus on Asian health, we are dedicated to understanding and addressing issues that impact Asian communities. Perhaps none have had a greater impact over the last year as the racism and hate that has fueled anti-Asian attacks across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our hearts and our thoughts are with these communities, particularly in Atlanta, where 8 people, including 6 Asian women, were killed this week. We condemn these attacks and we are committed to combating racism, improving equity and protecting Asian communities.
Through our work we know discrimination, violence and safety are health issues as well. The impacts are felt across the entire Asian community and subgroups, and especially vulnerable populations, including the elderly, small businesses, low-socioeconomic households, and women. A recent analysis by Stop AAPI Hate found women reported 2.3 times as many anti-Asian incidents as men — roughly 68% of the nearly 3,800 reports to the coalition since COVID-19 began.
The impacts are compounded by our country’s long history of xenophobia and scapegoating of Asian Americans. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned immigration of Chinese men, and even earlier, the Page Act of 1875 banned the entry of Chinese women.
Now, we must take action to improve social justice and health equity. We must raise awareness of the critical need for research and participation to understand and address the health and well-being of Asians, and subgroups.
We need more data on discrimination and racism against Asian Americans and other minorities. And we must stand with and support Asian communities in order to change the future.”