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
Dear Black folks
Dear Black folks
By Guest Contributor: Bao Phi
When I began reading that a White House petition had collected 100,000 signatures — many of them reportedly Chinese names — in defense of Peter Liang, a cop who shot and killed an unarmed Black man during a patrol of a housing project in New York, I was perplexed. At a time when the horrible abuse and killing of nonwhite bodies, predominantly Black, was making the news every week, why were so many Asian people defending an officer who wrongfully killed a Black man? And where were these 100,000 people during the wrongful death lawsuit by the family of slain Hmong teenager Fong Lee, killed by a white officer (awarded a Medal of Valor for the killing) with a history of abuse against Black and Hmong people?
But I took a step back, and read about some of the Chinese people who were in support of Liang. Some of them felt he was scapegoated. Some claimed the Liang case was about political maneuvering. Some said they were tired of being pushed around. What was going on here? How was the information on this case being broadcast in non-English media? It’s hard to get more than 100,000 Asians in America to sign onto anything — who got them to sign on to support this officer?
To some, it all may seem cut and dried. Asians are just being selfish and anti-Black again, only coming out of their wannabe white lifestyles to support one of their own. But then what about the cases where Asians have been the victims of police violence that don’t draw anywhere near the same zeitgeist? How do those instances of racist violence against Asians, statistically not as frequent but still racist, fit into our understanding of state sanctioned violence against Asian bodies?
With Monday’s news of two lawsuits filed by a conservative anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum hoping to challenge affirmative action policies by framing the debate around purported anti-Asian bias in selective universities’ admissions policies, the AAPI community has been once again thrust into the spotlight in the national affirmative action debate. Opponents of affirmative action suggest that these latest legal efforts are on behalf of the AAPI community. They suggest that most AAPIs are against race-conscious affirmative action, yet several studies reveal that more than 65% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders support affirmative action, both in professional and academic settings.
It’s important that we accurately represent the political opinions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by rendering our support for affirmative action visible.
Earlier this year, I aggregated a list of AAPI groups and writing in support of affirmative action in relation to the SCA5 debate in California. I have replicated and modified that list in this post, and will update it over the next several months with additional writing from around the internet.
Please feel free to link to this post as a resource regarding the attitudes of AAPI on affirmative action in the upcoming national debate on this issue. The abundance of this writing demonstrate clearly that while affirmative action is a polarizing topic within the AAPI community, there is strong and vocal support for race-conscious affirmative action in our community that deserves visibility.
What does it really mean to be an ally? Is the language and debate that we’re using right now on solidarity and allyship too hyper-focused on White/non-White power dynamics? I invite on awesome Asian American Dawn Lee Tu (@dawnleetu) to discuss the concept of “horizontal allyship”, a term that Dawn coined to address the specific ally relationship between different marginalized communities, which may differ from conventional social justice allyship.
To listen to this podcast, you can stream the video and audio version through YouTube above (where you can see my wacky bang that refused to stay behind my sunglasses) or stream the audio only version from the mp3 player below. To catch all episodes, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel or to the Reappropriate podcast through the iTunes store.
Next episode: The podcast is on hold until 2015, since the holidays are kind of a rough time to schedule guests. We may have one more episode between now and the new year, but it is unscheduled and unplanned at the moment. So, please stay tuned to this blog for an announcement of the next episode.
Audio only version of Episode 10:
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong this week to participate in a mass act of non-violent civil disobedience against the Chinese government. For days, protesters — many of them college-aged students and teenagers — have gathered near the city’s government buildings; they are chanting, marching, raising their fists, sleeping on the street, and wielding umbrellas against tear gas — all in defiance of a political and economic ruling class that threatens to revoke a democratic process promised to Hong Kong voters since the city’s 1997 handover from British rule to the Chinese government.
Most of us have been enthralled with the events in Hong Kong right now. We are following the events in Hong Kong with anticipation through mainstream news and social media. But, we must do more than offer just our support for the events taking place on the streets of Hong Kong right now; we should be getting inspired. Hong Kong’s Occupy Central protests are not just another demonstration happening somewhere halfway around the world; they have become an international symbol of freedom against political and economic tyranny that is informed by, and is informing, the experiences of AAPI and Americans alike.
Those of us in the West should be taking note.