New York, New York (September 13, 2021) – On September 9, 2021, a federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee acquitted University of Tennessee Engineering Professor Anming Hu of all charges brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under its controversial “China Initiative”. Professor Hu’s case was the first to go to trial from this program, which has encouraged and institutionalized racial profiling in our justice system.
The Department of Justice twice attempted to prosecute Prof. Hu, a naturalized Canadian citizen, who moved to the U.S. in 2013, and whose career has been destroyed after the Federal Bureau of Investigation attempted to implicate him as a spy for China. The DOJ’s “China Initiative” is an effort to expose Chinese spies working in American universities. Prof. Hu is a nanotechnology expert; he was accused of defrauding NASA by not disclosing a previous part-time work affiliation with the Beijing University of Technology. The charges against Prof. Hu stem from his work as a lead researcher on two NASA grants totaling $105,000 that went to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The Yellow Whistle™ campaign was founded in April 2021 to help protect the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community against recent surges of anti-Asian hate and violence; it has distributed almost 500,000 free whistles through an alliance of more than 120 local and national activist partner organizations. This campaign is a call to action for all Americans to stand up against xenophobia and historical discrimination.
Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, co-founders of The Yellow Whistle, state: “Prof. Hu stood up and fought against false accusations of espionage in an institutionalized discriminatory initiative that singles out people of Chinese descent, not unlike the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The founding team of The Yellow Whistle applauds Prof. Hu’s fortitude, the collective rallying of Asian Americans, and the indefatigable leadership of AAPI civil rights organizers and activists against this act of injustice. The court’s decision affirms the hollow nature of the racially motivated accusations and we call upon all Asian Americans to continue our fight to stop racial profiling and challenge the discriminatory nature of DOJ’s ‘China Initiative’. Prof. Hu’s acquittal demonstrates that truth prevails when people stand up against injustice; it is a powerful message to all Americans of Asian heritage that WE BELONG™.”
About The Yellow Whistle:
The Yellow Whistle™ is a grassroots campaign dedicated to bringing awareness to and combating rising anti-Asian violence. What started as a modest effort distributing 10,000 whistles has now turned into 500,000 yellow whistles. In nature, yellow is the color of daffodils and sunflowers, symbolizing the advent of spring, bringing hope, optimism, and enlightenment. In America, yellow has been weaponized against Asians as the color of xenophobia. The Yellow Whistle™ is a symbol of self protection and solidarity in our common fight against historical discrimination and anti-Asian violence. The whistle is a simple gadget with a universal purpose—to signal alarm and call for help—for all Americans. We shall not remain silent, because WE BELONG™.