by Stanford Asian American Activism Committee and Stanford Vietnamese Students Association
On Tuesday, November 27th at 8:30 A.M., an alarming photo taken from the Vietnamese Student Union (VSU) Office at UCLA became viral. It was a photo of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper with offensive clip art and the words “Asian Women R Honkie white-boy worshipping Whores!!!” (yes, with three exclamation points) that had been anonymously tacked onto a VSU banner at the VSU office. The Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC) and the Stanford Vietnamese Students Association (SVSA) decry this as an act of hate and stand in solidarity with the VSU at UCLA.
This picture serves as further evidence that we do not live in a post-racial society. It is also a strong reminder of the world that people of color—and especially womyn of color—live in. It is apparent that racism, sexism, and hate still exist–even in places where we think we are the most safe, such as our universities and community spaces.
Disturbed but not deterred, we know that there is still much work to be done. First, we need to remind the Stanford community and beyond of the continued relevance of community centers and ethnic studies. Now, more than ever, there is a need to support the development and sustainability of these entities. Second, let us have an honest and open discussion at Stanford about what it means to be tolerant, what it means to be an ally, and what it means to be a community. Although this incident did not happen on our campus, it does not mean it has not and never will happen. It is clear that, explicitly or implicitly, bigotry and sexism remain alive and well everywhere.
Along with the VSU at UCLA, we do not and will not tolerate this incident. With dignity as well as with compassion, we hope that Stanford takes this seriously and that this moment becomes a teaching and learning moment—for justice, for education, and for empowerment.
Stanford Asian American Activism Committee
Stanford Vietnamese Students Association
The Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC) is a student-run, student-led grassroots organization of Asian Americans dedicated to progressive social change. We recognize the existence of global and systemic inequalities and actively work to alter these systems of power. We fight for the humanization of our communities through radical acts of love, consciousness-raising, and unified action across communities at Stanford and beyond. Formed in the spring of 1993, the Stanford Vietnamese Students Association (SVSA) has served as a second family for all members, providing a support network as well as opportunities to increase cultural and ethnic awareness. SVSAparticipates in many on-campus activities, including its annual Lunar New Year Festival, Spring Culture Night, and High School Academic Conference. SVSA seeks to not only cultivate awareness, culture, and community among our members, but we aim to spread our message among the different communities at Stanford and beyond.