AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans have seen a rising tide of violence directed at people of Asian descent. Starting with a vicious knife attack on a father and his two sons, ages 6 and 3, in Midland, Texas, in March 2020, and the murders of eight people, six of whom were Asian American women, near Atlanta, in March 2021, thousands of attacks have been reported in the last year—and many more have not; and

WHEREAS, modern violence against Asians goes back to the 1980s, when Vincent Chin was killed by two white Americans who blamed him for the rise of the Japanese auto industry, despite the fact that he was Chinese American. Mr. Chin’s killers were sentenced to probation and a $3,000 fine; and

WHEREAS, myths of the model minority and dominant stereotypes of East Asians have historically reinforced anti-Black racism and been deployed to prevent multiracial solidarity; and

WHEREAS, this latest wave of anti-Asian violence was fanned by the Trump administration, whose toxic mix of anti-immigrant xenophobia, anti-Asian racism and U.S. imperial foreign policy brought about these tragic results. Extreme oppression of Asian Americans has been a feature of Asian American life for many in the United States dating back to the mid-19th century. Chinese American workers were paid much less than white workers while building the Transcontinental Railroad. Chinese American miners were subject to a high Foreign Miners’ Tax that provided nearly 25 percent of tax revenues for California. The passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 barred immigration from China. A few years later, 28 Chinese American miners were killed and 15 more wounded in Rock Springs, Wyo., in 1885; and

WHEREAS, Chinese and other Asian Americans have been the target of racist laws first aimed at other oppressed nationalities. The anti-miscegenation laws designed to prevent African Americans from marrying white Americans also were applied to Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants up to and through World War II. Some school districts could and did segregate Chinese, Japanese and Chicano children into separate schooling from whites; and

WHEREAS, the list of oppression is long, including 120,000 Japanese Americans forced into concentration camps during World War II, restrictive covenants used to force Chinese Americans to live only in Chinatown, and so much more:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will send a message of unconditional solidarity to all Asian Americans. The AFT stands for and supports all efforts for full equality of all oppressed peoples and nationalities, including Asian Americans; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and its members will use our platforms to expose racist violence and oppression of Asian Americans. We encourage education as one tool in the fight against racist ignorance.

Adopted 9/29/2022