Hmong Americans Are Not Simply “Caught up” in America’s Racial Conflicts. We are Actively Engaged In It.

A protester holds up a sign that says "Hmong 4 Black Lives". (Photo credit: Melody Vaaj via BBC)

By Guest Contributor: Kong Pheng Pha

Conversations have proliferated on social media debating Hmong Americans’ position in the ongoing racial conflicts in the U.S. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, one of them a Hmong American, warrants a reflection on the place of Hmong Americans in the revolution.

A New York Times article by Sabrina Tavernise attempted to examine the position of Hmong Americans in the murder of George Floyd. The article tried to present a balanced view of where Hmong Americans are situated in this ongoing revolution without fully putting Hmong Americans on either “side” of the conflict. However, this concerted effort to present ‘two sides’ fails to reflect where many Hmong Americans are: we want police to be held accountable for Floyd’s murder as much as any other community who possess any sense of equality and justice.

Continue reading “Hmong Americans Are Not Simply “Caught up” in America’s Racial Conflicts. We are Actively Engaged In It.”

AAPI Run: Jeremy Akbar Cooney, Candidate for NY State Senate, District 56

Jeremy Akbar Cooney (Photo Credit: Jeremy Cooney for State Senate)

Once again, a record number of Asian Americans and a growing number of Pacific Islanders are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

Every week, Reappropriate will profile progressive AAPI candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2020 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.


Jeremy Akbar Cooney is endorsed by Run for Something, which recruits and supports talented, passionate young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench. Since its launch on inauguration day 2017, they’ve recruited 16,000 young people to run for office.


What is your full name?
Jeremy Akbar Cooney

What office are you seeking?
New York State Senate

When is the election date?
November 3, 2020

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democratic Party, Working Families Party (endorsed)

Continue reading “AAPI Run: Jeremy Akbar Cooney, Candidate for NY State Senate, District 56”

Asians 4 Black Lives: Structural Racism is the Pandemic, Interdependence and Solidarity is the Cure

A handmade Black Lives Matter sign posted on a mailbox. (Photo credit: Reappropriate)

By Guest Contributor: Asians4BlackLives (@Asians4BlkLives)

This essay was originally posted on Medium, and is republished here at the request of the authors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a new surge in violence against Asian communities across the world. Several high-profile instances of anti-Asian racist violence—spurred on by casually racist remarks at every level of government, business, and popular culture—have created a terrorizing climate for many. In San Francisco Chinatown for example, overt xenophobia, combined with the economic impact of shelter-in-place orders, has left immigrants, elders, limited English-speaking people, and poor folks feeling like targets. In San Francisco, where a staggeringly disproportionate 50% of the COVID-19 mortalities are from the Asian and Pacific Islander community, the pandemic has ushered in multiple violences. This has been further exacerbated by pre-existing crises: gentrification, displacement, homelessness, police terror, inequities in education, a drastic uptick in deportations, antagonism against trans and queer people, poverty, and exploitation. 

Nationally, Black people are dying from COVID-19 at rates twice as high as other groups, an outcome of deeply embedded structural racism in healthcare, housing, labor, and other policies. Communities are weakened from decades of housing discrimination and redlining, forced denser housing, targeted criminalization and incarceration, larger numbers of pre-existing health conditions, and less access to affordable healthy food. Black communities are more likely to live in places with air pollution, rely on public transit, and be essential workers, so exposure rates increase. When Black people fall ill with COVID-19, racism in the healthcare system means lack of access to quality care, testing kits, or funds for treatment. In some cases, like for Zoe Mungin, they are simply not believed and turned away from treatment, until it is too late

We must recognize that the scapegoating of Asians as the harbingers of disease and the state violence against Black people (via systemic policing and state response to the pandemic) are two sides of the same coin. This system of oppression is what indicates whether we live or die. This moment makes it even clearer that we must radicalize our communities for cross-racial solidarity. 

Continue reading “Asians 4 Black Lives: Structural Racism is the Pandemic, Interdependence and Solidarity is the Cure”

AAPI Run: Godfrey Santos Plata, Candidate for CA State Assembly, District 53

Godfrey Santos Plata (Photo credit: Plata for Assembly 2020)

Once again, a record number of Asian Americans and a growing number of Pacific Islanders are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

Every week, Reappropriate will profile progressive AAPI candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2020 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.


Godfrey Santos Plata is endorsed by Run for Something, which recruits and supports talented, passionate young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench. Since its launch on inauguration day 2017, they’ve recruited 16,000 young people to run for office.


What is your full name?
Godfrey Santos Plata

What office are you seeking?
California State Assembly, District 53. I’ve qualified as one of two candidates for our general election, following our March 3rd primary.

When is the election date?
November 3, 2020

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

Continue reading “AAPI Run: Godfrey Santos Plata, Candidate for CA State Assembly, District 53”

Over 800 Asian American-Related Hate Incidents Reported in California

An image of Trump's notes at a press conference wherein the word "corona" is crossed out and replaced with the word "Chinese". (Photo credit: Getty)

The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council‘s Stop AAPI Hate project reported in a press briefing this week that they have received over 800 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents in California alone. The group has previously said it has received nearly two thousand reports of anti-Asian hate incidents nationwide.

Trump has continued to use the term “Kung Flu” and “China virus” at press conferences and campaign rallies, despite repeated criticisms that the phrases contribute to disease racialization of COVID-19. Stop AAPI Hate is one of several hate crime trackers launched to record the effect of this racialization on Asian Americans, and data from these projects paint a stark picture of anti-Asian hate in recent months. Of the more than 800 reports from California that Stop AAPI Hate has received since its inception, approximately 10% have involved physical assault, and a further 8% have involved suspected federal civil rights violations, such as workplace discrimination.

Most alarmingly, Asian American women in California are nearly twice as likely to report experiencing an incident of anti-Asian hate than men — and that disparity is even more stark nationwide.

Continue reading “Over 800 Asian American-Related Hate Incidents Reported in California”