Air Dates: May 24-30, 2021
Hate crimes are nothing new to members of the Asian American community. Dr. Janelle Wong helps us put them in historical context—from the Asian Exclusion Acts to the rise in violence targeting Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wong is a professor of American Studies and a core faculty member in the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland. From 2001-2012, Wong was a member of the Departments of Political Science and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. in 2001 from the Department of Political Science at Yale University. Wong is the author of “Immigrants, Evangelicals and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change” (2018), “Democracy’s Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions” (2006), and co-author of two books on Asian American politics, including “Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities” (2011), which is based on the first national, multilingual, multiethnic survey of Asian Americans. Wong was a Co-Principal Investigator on the 2016 National Asian American Survey, a nationwide survey of Asian American political and social attitudes and served on the national board of the Association for Asian American Studies from 2014 to 2017.
On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Wong says the recent spike in violence against Asian Americans is “a kind of reaction that people in the U.S. have had to Asian-Americans in this country since really the beginning of immigration of Asian-Americans to U.S. shores.” She adds, “there have been times throughout history that Asian Americans have been scapegoated and blamed for potentially bringing disease, bringing their culture, bringing potential kinds of disruptions to U.S. life and this is really part of this longer history.”
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