BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University students are speaking out against anti-Asian violence in Bloomington.
Bloomington Police say a woman stabbed an 18-year-old student on a city bus Wednesday.
Investigators say she was targeted for her race.
“I’m an IU student but first and foremost I’m also the son of immigrants. I understand your pain. You’re not alone," IU sophomore William Legato said in a message to the victim’s family.
Legato and other students gathered at the Asian Culture Center Friday to support one another, speak to university administration and write letters to the victim.
“When you’re hurt, it’s all of us. Your child, that’s our sibling, that’s our cousin, that’s whoever — it doesn’t matter blood or not. Spiritually, in the community framework, that’s us too," Legato said.
The suspect, 56-year-old Billie Davis, told police she stabbed the teen multiple times in the head with a folding knife, because it “would be one less person to blow up our country.”
Self-described “townies” and IU seniors Audrey Lee and Tvisha Chatterjea say they’ve been dealing with these anti-Asian sentiments their whole lives.
“Growing up my parents here told me ‘oh keep your head down, if you come across any trouble don’t engage.’
“Yeah exactly. If we keep running away, keep avoiding people in the community, then they will have more reason to dehumanize us and it’ll be easier to commit these acts of anti-Asian violence," Lee said.
WRTV reached out to IU for comment on the recent violence.
A spokesperson said “To our Asian and Asian American friends, colleagues, students and neighbors, we stand firmly with you.”
Students at the Asian Culture Center gathered today to support one another, speak to University administration and write letters to the affected family. @wrtv They welcomed me in and shared their thoughts and feelings on the violence. pic.twitter.com/pBBor9vOil— Nico Pennisi (@nicopennisitv) January 13, 2023