Time Magazine: Prof. Gómez Calls for Community Support After California Shootings

a woman holding a sign that says "love our people, heal our communities"
Photo by Jason Leung

The recent shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park, California have devastated Asian communities, especially due to the proximity to Lunar New Year celebrations.  In an op-ed for Time Magazine, BU School of Social Work Prof. Jennifer M. Gómez analyzes the importance of community support and how discrimination against marginalized communities breeds in-community violence. Prof. Gómez’s work on Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory covers how this violence taints cultural solidarity, which can further harm victims of violence.

Excerpt from “‘Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory’ Adds Another Devastating Layer to Recent Shootings” by  Prof. Jennifer M. Gómez, originally posted in Time Magazine:

quotation markOur society of white supremacist discrimination and oppression is the reason why many feared that white people’s racist hate was the motivation for these murderous shootings. As painful as that would have been, what could have remained was solidarity within the Asian American community—the notion that ‘we still have us, and we will support each other as we combat this violent oppression.’ With the alleged shooters both being of Asian descent, the solidarity and safety within the ‘us’ is tarnished…

When cultural betrayal tragedies occur, it can be easy to reprise stereotypes of the marginalized group to place the blame for violence on them, while also justifying dominant society’s discrimination against them. This discriminatory blame doesn’t just come from outsiders—it can come from inside the communities in question, too.”

Read the full article here.

Learn More About Prof. Gómez’s Research