The faculty of the UCLA Asian American Studies Department stands in solidarity with Afghan people who are facing Taliban rule as only one of a number of brutal consequences arising from twenty years of invasion, occupation, and war waged by the US military and its allies. In tradition with Asian American Studies’ long critique and opposition to US militarism in Asia writ large, including Central Asia, Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA), we condemn and oppose this war and all imperialist wars from the Americas to Asia, Africa, and beyond.
We stand firmly with the growing movement in the US and join our voices to say: our government must ensure that those seeking to leave Afghanistan continue to have ways to do so safely, remove admissions caps for refugees, and provide genuine resources for the resettlement of Afghan refugees. Neighboring countries must keep their borders open and ensure safe passage for fleeing refugees, and grassroots organizers and humanitarian workers must recognize Afghan people as leaders in the struggle against authoritarian and military regimes. Our own university must commit to creating safe harbor for Afghan scholars, students, and teachers and all peoples displaced by imperial military violence.
Refugee histories, forced migration, asylum, detainment, and the separation of families have unavoidably shaped and splintered communities and peoples across Asia and the Pacific. Thus, war and its aftermath of management of international peace and relocation are ongoing violences our field continually takes up in our intellectual inquiries, oral histories, and memory of what has and can constitute Asian American Studies. In this vein, we lift up all who have built ongoing challenges against US militarism and support peoples displaced, erased, and resilient.
The faculty of the Asian American Studies Department, University of California, Los Angeles