Umemoto on Coalitions Emerging From Firestorm of Racism

Urban Planning Professor Karen Umemoto spoke to the Los Angeles Times and the podcast Then & Now about the dramatic rise in attacks on Asian Americans. Umemoto called the violence a “shadow epidemic,” stoked by former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. “Trump’s role in exacerbating and igniting this firestorm can’t be denied,” she told the L.A. Times. But she also pointed to a new era of coalition-building among communities of color long targeted by a culture steeped in white supremacy. “One of Trump’s legacies is sparking more activism and more acts of solidarity across many groups who became victim of many of his policies and rhetoric,” she told the podcast, produced by the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. To tackle structural racism at its roots, Umemoto called for educating schoolchildren about the history and contributions of Asian Americans so that they are no longer considered the “perpetual foreigner.”

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