Content material warning: This message references anti-Asian violence/racial violence.
Earlier this quarter, a person was discovered and detained on campus after threatening to enact violence towards Stanford’s Vietnamese neighborhood. After posting a sequence of on-line threats and racially charged feedback towards Stanford’s Vietnamese college students, the person bodily confirmed up on campus — and was positioned whereas making lively threats of direct hurt to a graduate scholar. But, regardless of the severity and proximity of the specter of violence throughout this occasion, Stanford by no means issued a College-wide announcement about what occurred. Within the aftermath, we within the Vietnamese neighborhood are left questioning: are college students meant to bear the duty of conserving our neighborhood protected and knowledgeable?
All through the month of March, Stanford’s Vietnamese Scholar Affiliation (SVSA) acquired a sequence of racially violent and hateful feedback on their public Instagram account. The nameless feedback expressed robust self-loathing and hate in the direction of the poster’s personal Vietnamese identification and included demise threats in the direction of members of SVSA. One remark acknowledged, “If you happen to carry a Vietnamese final identify, you’ll die first. It is a promise.” Others included threats equivalent to “You’re not coming dwelling” and “I will probably be pulling as much as your occasions in individual and exacting my revenge.”
SVSA leaders notified the Division of Public Security (DPS) after receiving every wave of hateful feedback, asking for steerage on whether or not it was protected to proceed with their annual Tradition Night time present. DPS decided in coordination with Stanford’s Menace Evaluation staff that there was not an instantaneous menace to SVSA and indicated that they believed the threats weren’t racially motivated. DPS recognized a potential suspect on the East Coast and suggested that SVSA was protected to maneuver ahead with Tradition Night time with further safety measures. Throughout this alternate with DPS, a number of city halls have been held the place scholar neighborhood leaders bore a majority of the stress and duty for responding to this menace, with little to no assist from senior College management.
The scenario escalated in early April when SVSA leaders have been notified that the non-Stanford affiliated suspect had been found on campus, and in reality had doubtless been at Stanford for a number of weeks. The suspect was detained by DPS on April 6 after posting a menace on social media in the direction of a Stanford graduate scholar, which indicated his real-time location on the Graduate Faculty of Enterprise. The suspect, confirmed as a Vietnamese-American male, admitted to posting the aforementioned threats on the SVSA Instagram account and shared he held a grudge towards Vietnamese individuals. Whereas the suspect had no weapons in his possession, he was transferred to a hospital for analysis out of concern for his psychological well being and wellbeing. Three days later, the suspect was launched from psychiatric maintain and issued a “stay-away order” from Stanford. As of April 14, the person has allegedly returned to his household on the East Coast. Amidst intense considerations of bodily and psychological security, SVSA leaders made the troublesome resolution to cancel SVSA Tradition Night time.
This occasion has been severely distressing and traumatizing for a lot of members of Stanford’s Vietnamese neighborhood, notably those who have been immediately threatened and those that bore the duty of urging the College to reply. Nervousness and worry gripped our neighborhood as the specter of racial violence hung over us for over a month. Repeated on-line threats culminated within the bodily presence of a suspect on campus. Nevertheless, regardless of the severity of the occasion, Stanford has but to situation a College-wide announcement about what occurred or denounce this act of racial hate and intolerance. This left college students feeling remoted and unsafe as many alternative methods and folks representing the College proceed to fail us. Although a neighborhood letter from the Asian American Actions Middle (A3C) was despatched to Asian-interest mailing lists, no announcement was despatched to the College at massive, leaving nearly all of college students, lots of whom are themselves part of the Vietnamese neighborhood, wholly uninformed and largely alone to cope with the impression of hurt perpetrated.
When Stanford fails to convey consideration to anti-Asian violence, they fail to acknowledge the very current racial hate that persists on this campus. They reduce the lived experiences and considerations of marginalized communities of colour, they usually endanger college students who deserve to be told about threats of violence towards their neighborhood. Occasions equivalent to these have an effect on our neighborhood at massive, and the College ought to have printed a College-wide announcement rebuking racial violence and hate, whereas affirming Stanford as an establishment that values and helps college students of all marginalized identities to really feel protected and to thrive. Their failure to publicly denounce this act of racial hate indicators that the College doesn’t take considerations like this severely. It minimizes the extent of the hurt performed to our neighborhood. And it sends a message that anti-Asian violence is an Asian/Asian American situation, not a College-wide one. The College’s silence equates to complicity.
Might was Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, and within the aftermath of those occasions, these of us in Stanford’s Vietnamese neighborhood are reflecting on the character of anti-Asian violence that has and continues to happen on this campus. We marvel how and why Stanford management and methods failed to essentially see and defend college students. When the College stays silent on an occasion equivalent to this, it’s troublesome to really feel that the College takes transgressions towards its APA neighborhood severely. This occasion has raised critical questions in regards to the College’s “selectiveness” through which points and communities advantage consideration from the very best ranges of College management, and that are ignored.
It’s clear that Stanford prioritizes defending its popularity. However how unhealthy do issues need to get earlier than the College can’t ignore it any longer? How extreme will the following hate incident towards APA communities on campus be, and can the College stay silent then, too?
Britney Tran ’24, Dwight Hua ’23, Kyle Nguyen ’23