University of California registered nurses are outraged by the ongoing racist and xenophobic attacks against Asians and call for solidarity with Asian communities and a public commitment to solutions that work toward ending structural racism and promoting social equity and healing, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.
The rise of anti-Asian hate incidents during the pandemic is appalling for nurses, many of whom are of Asian descent. As members of the Asian communities, they experience structural racism firsthand. For example, while nurses of Filipino descent represent 4 percent of all U.S. registered nurses, they have disproportionately suffered more than a quarter of Covid-19 RN deaths, according to a March 2021 NNU report.
“UC nurses are speaking out across the state to condemn the ongoing xenophobic attacks against Asian communities,” said Dahlia Tayag, RN at UC San Diego. “Physical safety is critical to having a healthy community. Asians are being attacked in California and throughout the country. We must unite to challenge anti-Asian violence, harassment, and racism.”
“CNA/NNU nurses continue to be on the front lines of health care fights but we also continue to fight against racism, a public health crisis,” said Rosa Villarroel, RN at UCSF Mission Bay. “We support Asian communities, the workers in the hospital and the communities we serve. We want to let Asian communities know we see and hear their pain. As a Latinx/Indigenous woman I am no stranger to the traumatic effects of racism but together we can all stand up, speak out, and fight against two public health crises : Covid and racism.”
“We are furious that Asian communities are being attacked and harassed,” said Melissa Johnson-Camacho, RN at UC Davis. “As nurses working in a women-dominated profession, we are especially aware of violence against women. More than two-thirds of the incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate were reported by women. We must fight structural racism and sexism and stop the violence and harassment.”
“We care for our patients and we care for our communities,” said Fong Chuu, RN at UCLA. “As nurses we value life. The massacre of six Asian women was a horrific tragedy. The women were targeted because their lives were not valued. An attack on our Asian neighbors and communities is an assault on us all, and we have an obligation as a society to condemn and prevent it.”
“We are confronting the xenophobic legacy of former President Trump,” said Marlene Tucay, RN at UC Irvine. “His labeling of the pandemic as the ‘China virus’ has led to this increase in racist attacks against Asian communities. These racist attacks are part of the growing public health crisis in our country that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color. As nurses, we know that working to achieve social equity is ultimately at the heart of ensuring public health and safety for all.”