Dr. Melissa May Borja Profile picture
Scholar of US religion, APIA studies & migration @UMich. Warren Ctr Fellow @Harvard. Researcher @StopAAPIHate. @Greg_Westin's bestie. Indy activist. Views mine.
17 Mar
Six Asian American women were killed in Atlanta today. We're still learning about the motive. However, you should know this: most racist attacks against Asian Americans this past year have targeted women, and Asian American women are on edge. (1/15)
@StopAAPIHate (an organization with which I am an affiliated researcher) found that 68% of the attacks on Asian Americans in the past year targeted AAPI women. (2/15) nbcnews.com/news/asian-ame…
My research team with the Virulent Hate Project @UMich found a similar pattern. Analyzing 4600+ news articles, we identified 1100+ incidents of anti-Asian racism reported in news media in 2020. Women were the victim in 61% of the incidents. (3/15)
Read 16 tweets
27 Feb
Another expression of rising anti-Asian hate: attacks on Asian American religious institutions. Yesterday a Buddhist temple was burned & vandalized. It's not the first time temples have been targeted. latimes.com/california/sto…
Here's an incident in Texas: statesman.com/news/20200429/…
And here's an incident in Arkansas: arkansasonline.com/news/2020/apr/…
Read 8 tweets
26 Feb
As a researcher, I care about precise terms & use "racism," "violence," "hate crime," & "hate incident" with care. But let's be clear: the act of violence against AAPIs that went most viral in the past year was racially motivated. It was the stabbing of the Burmese family in TX.
In the incident in TX, the perpetrator attacked the family and accused them of being “Chinese and infecting people with the coronavirus.” The FBI called it a hate crime. cbs7.com/content/news/F…
My research team at U-M has analyzed 4600+ articles about anti-Asian hate in 2020 and identified over 1100 acts of harassment, physical and verbal. The incident in TX was mentioned in the news 158 times and was the most widely mentioned event last year.
Read 5 tweets
23 Feb
I did my annual review today, & being ask to list my academic accomplishments for 2020 felt demoralizing. I listed almost nothing due to pandemic-related cancellations & delays of conferences, research trips, & publications. So here is my alternative list of accomplishments.
I kept a twelve-year-old kid alive and healthy and reasonably happy. On top of that, she’s still learning, even though she’s done school via Zoom since March 2020. I helped said kid learn to love playing the piano.
I offered encouragement and care to my husband, a healthcare worker, as he faced a challenging, and often scary, year. And he passed his boards, to boot. :-)
Read 11 tweets
21 Feb
I spent my afternoon leading a discussion of the documentary Purple, from @Resettingtable. We can't just tell people to bridge political & social divisions - we must equip people with skills to understand, listen to, & see the humanity in their neighbors.
In particular, we need to take time to teach people (1) how to demonstrate to people that we see them as they wish to be seen, and (2) how to name differences clearly and directly. These communication skills are essential but rarely taught.
I highly recommend taking time to teach these skills in a variety of contexts - e.g., churches and classrooms - but the application of these skills are so broad and can have an enormous impact on how we relate to family, friends, and neighbors.
Read 4 tweets