As scholars whose identity and/or work center on Asians and Asian Americans, we share in mourning the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Jamal Clark, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tony McDade and the countless others – whose names we may not know – who have died due to police brutality and racist practices. And we condemn the institutional racism and acts of hate and violence that continue to infect our systems and society.
With much sadness and pain, we acknowledge the involvement of an Asian American police officer in the killing of George Floyd. We reject his complicity, his failure to intercede, and his choice to protect his partner – furthering white supremacist behavior and anti-Black racism.
As Asian Americans, we also must acknowledge a history of racism within our own community. It is a complex and difficult narrative. Victimization in the form of legal discrimination, racist rhetoric, and negative stereotypes. And a mix of both privileges and tensions stemming from the civil rights movement, the model minority myth, the perpetual foreigner stereotype, and often strained Asian American and Black relations. As we recognize this history, we urge Asian Americans to identify and combat anti-Black racism within our varied Asian American communities and our society. And we commit to work as allies with African American/Black communities to deconstruct the anti-Blackness that divides the unity among minority communities.
We call on our fellow Asian Americans to commit to this fight against anti-Black racism. Do not be silent, quiet, or indifferent about the violence against our fellow Black Americans. Let us work together to hold ourselves accountable, and with humility and compassion, join forces with our fellow Black and Brown communities to dismantle the attitudes, acts, and policies of white supremacy. As a racial minority, we must understand that anti-Black racism, anti-Latinx racism, and discrimination against any minoritized group oppress all groups, including Asian Americans. Let us stand together to affirm that Black Lives Matter and remain united in our struggles, so we can strive together for peace and freedom for all groups.
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