AASA Statement on Persistent Discourses of Racism, Sexism, Islamophobia, Xenophobia, and Homophobia since the US presidential election.
The Arab American Studies Association is alarmed by the open racism, bigotry, and rising level of hate crimes perpetrated against Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, People of Color now on display in the United States. We oppose characterizations of groups of people as if they were monolithic, and abhor the use of labels such as terrorist, rapist, illegal, deviant, or criminal being applied to any group of people. We similarly oppose language and actions that objectify and disempower women and girls, including for the ways they choose to dress and live their lives. We have spent our careers documenting how such reckless language incites others to violence and war and illustrating how media reproductions of these discourses fuel ignorance and hatred and punish the innocent. Since the recent election we are concerned to see that Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, women, People of Color, the differently abled, and LGBTX communities are forced to conduct their daily lives in a hyper vigilant state. As a community largely of academics, we strongly endorse institutional measures that support students and faculty at risk. We call upon our universities to take active steps to introduce curricula that produce critical knowledges about racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities that challenge the widespread ignorance and intolerance currently thriving among sectors of the US population. We call on AASA members to redouble their efforts to inform and educate persons inside and outside of our institutions, to provide resources and support to people at risk, and to actively resist any forthcoming government policies that would endanger any and all of these communities. We reaffirm that we are not only scholars, but also world citizens who are committed in word and deed to creating a more just world. As such, we stand in solidarity with other organizations and collectives committed to social and racial justice.
Arab Americans Studies Association Board of Directors
December 11, 2016