A Message from AASA's Political Action and Education Committee (PAEC)
On Saturday, February 18th, the Associated Press broke the story that the New York Police Department had from 2006 to 2009 conducted extensive surveillance
against Muslim Student Associations (MSAs) at seventeen universities across the northeast, including Yale. The NYPD monitored MSA websites on a daily basis,
using information its agents collected to create profiles of affiliated students and professors and compiling the data in weekly reports. In some cases,
surveillance was more intrusive; the AP reports that NYPD officers established an undercover safehouse to monitor the Muslim American community at Rutgers
University in New Jersey and placed an informant on a whitewater rafting trip sponsored by the Muslim Student Association of City College of New York. Such
surveillance, the full extent of which is still unknown, can only be interpreted as indicative of a policy of religious profiling against Muslim Americans. We,
the Political Action and Education Committee (AASA-PAEC) of the Asian American Students Alliance, must condemn such profiling as morally reprehensible and
distinctly un-American in principle, violating in spirit the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
The NYPD had no reasonable grounds on which to justify its surveillance; those targeted were ordinary college students monitored solely on the basis of their
religious beliefs. None were ever charged with a crime. Yet when pressed on February 21st about the allegations, New York City Mayor Bloomberg was dismissive,
suggesting that racial and religious profiling is acceptable under the guise of protectecting national security. While all of us can agree that safeguarding our
nation's well-being will require continued vigilance and strength, it is deplorable to characterize personal freedoms as inherently incompatible and subservient
to national security. We condemn the latent prejudices embodied in these actions. We believe that religious and racial profiling is a problem not merely of
concern to the Muslim American community, but affects all Americans, particularly those of minority status. We, AASA-PAEC, will stand together with MSA in any
way we can to provide the resources, man-power, and support for any response MSA plans. We are grateful that President Levin has publicly affirmed the support
of the Yale administration, for it reiterates the importance of the strength of coordinated and decisive action of our community. Though the story is
disconcerting and intolerable, we believe this affords our entire community a promising opportunity to effect real change.
So at a Tuesday press conference, Mayor Bloomberg defended the NYPD surveillance of MSA’s in the Northeast and refused to acknowledge any sort of profiling: “If going on websites and looking for information is not what Yale stands for, I … Continue reading → Read more...
By now, I’m sure everyone’s heard about the NYPD spying on college Muslim Student Associations across the Northeast, including Yale’s– so wrong. And it comes right after the Muslim Student Association’s op-ed about Islamophobia received over a hundred comments like … Continue reading → Read more...
So this is a pretty offensive/disturbing piece about Jenny Hyun, the songwriter for Girl’s Generation and Chocolat, posting MINDBLOWINGLY RACIST posts about black people on twitter. She posted this tirade after reading Floyd Merryweather’s tweet about Jeremy Lin—“Jeremy Lin is … Continue reading → Read more...
The APA group at Cornell just sent this to me about Eric Hyun Jae Choon, an undocumented student at Cornell, who needs to raise $10,000 in order to pay tuition to graduate. Here’s his blog and an article in the … Continue reading → Read more...
A little bit of a change of pace for this post– A few days ago, I was having a conversation with my friend about senior essays (really practical conversation for second semester sophomores, especially when one of the parties—me—doesn’t have … Continue reading → Read more...