Friday, August 24, 2018
Dear APA and OEMA,
We, the Executive Committee of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), are writing in response to the recently released first web video titled “Racism in American” in a series on Race and Health (http://www.apa.org/education/
undergrad/diversity/default. aspx). It has come to our attention that there is a glaring omission of Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences of racism in the video. We are thankful that Dr. Jude Bergkamp, an AAPA member, was included in the video. However, AAPI experiences of racism were not explicitly discussed in this video, leaving us with images but remaining “voiceless.”
It is our understanding that APA requested feedback from AAPA members and had previously received critiques of the missing AAPI experiences and experts. Recommendations were made, yet unheeded, to include additional images and voices that reflected AAPI experiences of racism, including the targeting of Sikhs, deportation of Asian Americans, killing of Vincent Chin, exploitation of labor, and examples of hate crimes. We are especially disappointed to hear that APA received this feedback prior to the video’s release. However, it appears as though the feedback was not implemented.
We believe that the omission of Asian American experiences from this first video is fixable and request that APA and OEMA follow through with remedying this situation. Tiffany Townsend has been tireless and gracious in describing the process that led to the introductory video, we understand the information that has been provided about the process that led to the invisibility of our members and their experience, we respectfully request that APA acknowledge its omission and correct this error. We understand that Asian American psychologists and experiences will be included in subsequent videos. However, the omission of these experiences from this first video perpetuates the invisibility of AAPIs as a racialized group that experiences racism and the misnomer that AAPIs are “honorary whites” and perpetuates the “model minority” myth instead of recognizing us as a compilation of ethnic communities of color.
AAPA recognizes and applauds the value of this video effort. We do intend to share this resource with our membership but would be remiss in doing so without addressing the hurtful invisibility of AAPI experiences. As a group we have already endured decades of being “othered” or nonexistent in psychology research and efforts. Our community’s representation is especially important, particularly as South Asian, refugee, and undocumented AAPI’s are particularly targeted in the current political climate.
We remain committed to ongoing dialogue and constructive shared efforts.
Asian American Psychological Association