We condemn the continued violence and racism targeting Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. These actions betray deep racial fissures in American society, and they make clear once again the pressing need for us all to work to forge a more equitable society.
This week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced steps to combat this violence, including creating a COVID-19 Equity Task Force to end xenophobia, a new DOJ cross-agency initiative to address anti-Asian violence, and an allocation of $49.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to support AAPI survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. These steps are a start.
As an organization representing a large, diverse cross-section of scientists, the Federation of American Scientists has a role in combating this violence and hateful rhetoric as a community. And recent episodes can be traced in part to rhetoric that referred to the coronavirus as the “China virus” and mockery calling the pandemic “kung flu.” This language is wrong and cannot be tolerated. As a community of scientists, we have an obligation to invest in advancing the truth and supporting one another. This xenophobic rhetoric only pulls us apart, hinders our ability to respond to COVID-19, and makes us less safe.
The Federation of American Scientists has a role to play on behalf of the scientific community — and an obligation not only to condemn both xenophobic words and violence, but to take affirmative steps to advance diversity and inclusion within our organization and beyond. Within FAS, I will redouble my efforts to prioritize diversity, inclusion, and advancing effective science communication.
We have much work to do as a community to ensure hate has no home. I would love to hear your thoughts on how we can work together as a community.
Acting President, Federation of American Scientists