Communities in Solidarity: Asian American Pacific Islander Awareness Month
As May, and thus Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Awareness Month ends, we are reminded of how far racial equality needs to go. Oppression of AAPI people is inextricably linked to oppression of Black Americans and other marginalized races and ethnicities in the United States. Racial stereotyping, microaggressions, and poor representation in media are all underlying symptoms of not seeing people of color as people. All this covert racism comes hand-in-hand with overt racism, the active violence and anti-Blackness that is tied to white supremacy in the U.S.
National Queer Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) has posted this on their Facebook page:
We are responsible for George Floyd’s Death. Our community’s violent anti-blackness makes us complicit in the deaths of black folks. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who were murdered and rendered invisible by our community. We, as an API community, have embedded anti-blackness so intensely into our communities. We have so much to unlearn, relearn, and do.
As an organization, we denounce the actions of Officer Thao, anti-blackness, and police brutality, while recognizing the tension in the ways we have benefited from these structures. Our denouncement is not enough. We must do more than we say. We must support justice by any means. We must educate ourselves and our community. We must call out anti-blackness. We must abolish the model minority myth. So that another member of our community will not stand by while a black man is murdered.
This oppressive behavior has deep roots in Asian American history, from Peter Liang to Bhagat Singh Thind and we cannot ignore these histories. We need to elevate the understanding that as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, our liberation is intertwined with Black Liberation. We must commit to racial solidarity and the history of the Asian American identity in the Black Power Movement.
As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, our liberation is intertwined with Black Liberation.
Here’s a start, a coalition of organizers in Minnesota have developed a toolkit to demand justice for George Floyd. We ask that each and every member of NQAPIA do the following:
- Call Minnesota decision makers. We will be hosting a phone bank to do this collectively on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Register here: https://forms.gle/uNaqyybLinEfcg3A6
- E-mail to demand justice.
- Share with your friends (https://twitter.com/COPALMN/status/1265745891593502728)
- Uplift Black local organizations
- Donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund
Additionally we ask that you get intimately acquainted with this Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit: https://www.asianamtoolkit.org/“
As we approach Pride Month, we must also remember all of the people of color, specifically Black and Latinx trans women, who have fought for LGBTQ liberation. Howard Brown Health recognizes and respects all of the efforts that grassroots organizations, nonprofits, and individuals do to fight racism, homophobia, and transphobia.