Dear Northwestern community,
Our first reaction to the egging incident was shock. Like many members of our community, we were surprised that something so blatantly racist and offensive happened in light of all of the discussions on our campus. However, it felt like there was more to be understood. We spent time in reflection and one question that we realized must be answered is: What happened?
Was this an incident fueled by pure hatred? We think it’s dangerous to answer with a simple “yes." Many of us would never identify as people who hate others, so we are quick to disassociate ourselves from people like the ones who committed this crime. This prevents us from seeing how we are similar. The similarities can be found when we look at the foundation that incidents like this are built on and ask ourselves, “Do we also stand on that same foundation?”
Here is what a piece of that foundation looks like for the Asian community. As the asianNUproject has been finding and sharing stories of what it means to be Asian in America, a theme that has emerged in our stories is, “it’s not cool to be Asian.” We experience that in different moments of our lives: It’s the teasing someone receives in elementary school for bringing Korean food for lunch, the jokes someone gets for making all Asian friends at Northwestern, the congratulations someone is given for not surrounding himself with all Asians, the “fucking Asians” someone hears while playing tennis. Though we recognize that the magnitude and implications of these examples are not all the same, these experiences are all cues that we should feel ashamed for being Asian and most will never make it onto the front page of a publication. When incidents like this occur, we want to invite the campus to think about how we may all have been complicit in committing a similar crime.
The asianNUproject is addressing this incident because we do not want the attack to push two people in our community towards shame. We want the two students, and any other students who have ever been made to feel ashamed of their identity, to know that Northwestern is a space where we should feel proud of who we are. We stand united with the rest of the Asian community at Northwestern and support APAC and SASA in their response to the incident.