Tag Archives: BlackLivesMatter

The Unbearable Silence of the World in the Face of Those Whose Lives Were Taken

October 4, 2016
(Photo Credit: Flickr / Hernán Piñera)
(Photo Credit: Flickr / Hernán Piñera)

By Guest Contributor: Ammara Khursheed

July 6th 2016: At work, I check Facebook, my newsfeed is flooded with images of the gruesome murder of yet another member of the black community, Alton Sterling. Later that night, I stumble across the video of Philando Castile’s death. 2 black bodies stained with red blood in the span of 24 hours.

When these attacks happen, I can’t help but think of my black and brown family members and their safety so I made a few phone calls inquiring on the safety of my family. The safety of my disabled and vulnerable uncle, the safety of my visibly Muslim parents, brothers, and sister, and the safety of my cousins who are both black and Muslim. Two targeted identities in today’s world.

These phone calls are now a part of my daily routine. I can’t help but fear for my family members. I live in daily fear that we will be the next victims of targeted terrorist attacks or police brutality. While we, members of the black and brown community fear, the world…it remains silent.

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Why and How Asian Americans Must Mobilize for Black Lives

September 27, 2016
Asian American protesters march in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in New York City in July. (Photo Credit: Unknown / Twitter)
Asian American protesters march in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in New York City in July. (Photo Credit: Unknown / Twitter)

By Guest Contributor: Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin (@KaelaMeiShing)

Black lives matter.  Full stop. Any discussion of police violence against American lives must begin and end with (and consist of) the experience of black and brown people in our country.  If we are to end police brutality, that must be our main focus. It’s not for us to make metaphors, excuses, or pander to nonblack people.  Black and brown people are being gunned down in the street, and our job as citizens must be to center on the issues; our activism must not center on our own guilt or our own lives but those of others.

I, however, am a hypocrite.  I’m about to pander in a big way.

This week, I attended a protest in New York City which started at Union Square, organized by NYC Shut It Down, “a multiethnic, multigenerational group of anti-heteropatriarchal activists who fight against militarized policing and racial injustice,” in their own words. “Don’t waste your time arguing with people who don’t believe in the cause,” a speaker had told us at the beginning of the night, “but mobilize your own people.” I paraphrase: words were swallowed in the crush of people, but I was deeply struck by this sentiment.

So this essay is for my people: the well-meaning Asian, white, and racially “other” liberals like me, liberals with our hearts and minds in the right place and our actions slow to catch up.   It’s for us pandering, guilt-motivated people who cry watching yet another video of police brutality, post “Black Lives Matter” on facebook, and then go about our day, the pain of what we saw dissipating as the hours accumulate.  It’s not for people who don’t care about black lives; it’s for those who do.  If you don’t already believe in dismantling the system, in righting its institutional wrongs, you can feel free to look away now, to return to your life of ignorance; you are not my people.

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The Long Road Ahead: Why Black Lives Matter For a Muslim American Woman

September 27, 2016

road-shadows

By Guest Contributor: Anisa Khalifa (@anisakhalifa_)

After the killings of this past week, it feels on some level as if words have dried up. As though we have cried and screamed in outrage, for justice, for so long that we have nothing left to say. As if our words are no longer weapons, but lie useless and mute in our hands. As with physical illness, there is a numbness that comes after one has experienced so much pain that the brain and the body become overloaded, and can no longer process what is happening to them.

But this is a long road, one that many have walked before us, and we cannot give up and collapse by the side of the road now.

The Civil Rights Movement was a revolution in its time, and its heroes and martyrs achieved great things, but their work is still unfinished; it has become our work. We have a moral obligation to take on our long history of white supremacy: the violence perpetuated upon black and brown bodies without accountability; the erasure of the suffering and injustice faced by victims of police violence in favor of white people’s “fragility”; the inextricable way that gun violence and the gun lobby is interwoven with a mainstream culture that approves of arming white people and killing black people, and yet putting disproportionate numbers of black people in jail.

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Dear Black Folks

September 27, 2016

hands-circle-bw

By Guest Contributor: Stacy G

Dear Black folks

I don’t know what it’s like to question authority because I had the privilege of never having to do so
I don’t know what’s it’s like to have an authority figure see you as a threat before seeing you as a child
Demonizing you before they get to know you
I donft know what it’s like to watch your classmates be called overzealous
While you do the same, and your teachers send you to detention and call you rebellious

Dear Black folks
I don’t know what its like to be followed around a store
Or to feel like a suspect as soon as you walk through the door
I don’t know what’s like to have to tell my future son to fear the police because anything he might do
Might be construed
As a threat and force them to shoot

Dear Black folks
I don’t know what it’s like to live a lifetime of anger and frustration because of what happened to your community
What happened within your community
I don’t know what it’s like to have your tongue ripped out by having a bullet
Strike your heart before you have the chance to have your voice heard

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California’s Proposed Bill to Disaggregate AAPI Data Significantly Weakened in New Amendments

August 21, 2016
Attendees at a recent rally in support of AB1726, a data disaggregation scheduled to reach the CA Senate floor soon. (Photo Credit: @DiverseElders / Twitter )
Attendees at a recent rally in support of AB1726, a data disaggregation scheduled to reach the CA Senate floor soon. (Photo Credit: @DiverseElders / Twitter )

After months of increasingly vitriolic debate that divided the AAPI community, California Assembly Bill 1726 (AB1726) was significantly amended on Friday. In its original version, AB1726 was the culmination of years of lobbying work by California’s AAPI advocacy community, and it would have put in place measures to disaggregate healthcare and higher education data to reveal disparities faced by Southeast Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the state. Using the same ethnic options offered by the National Census, AB1726 would have expanded the ethnic self-identification choices offered in demographic studies conducted by state departments related to healthcare and higher education.

Last year, AB1726’s predecessor, Assembly Bill 176, passed the California Legislature with near unanimous bipartisan support and the backing of several local California advocacy groups, only to be vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. This cycle’s AB1726 was expected to pass the Legislature with similarly minimal resistance, until it faced inexplicably intense backlash from grassroots Chinese American groups that had originally organized around SCA-5 (and protests against Jimmy Kimmel) in the state. What emerged was a vocal, deeply inflammatory, arguably paranoid resistance to AB1726, wherein opponents suggested while the bill was still in Committees that it would create a “backdoor” to reinstitute race-conscius affirmative action in the state.

How a data collection bill designed was supposed to circumvent California state law prohibiting race-conscious affirmative action in higher education remains unclear to me.

Yet, no one can deny this grassroots conservative Chinese American movement’s growing clout.

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