Why It’s Important to Stand with People of Asian Descent

I stand with my Asian brothers and sisters. My heart is and has been broken as anti-Asian racism is becoming more and more common and more and more deadly. The bigotry and racism focused on those of Asian descent* reveals the ugly under-belly of a culture that has always been with us and that must be eradicated. This has to stop! This cannot continue! We must finally address the deep-rooted racism against Asians that is embedded in our American culture.

It is not identifying this racism that has killed, maimed, or abused people (even if those who have done so are multiracial). That is the BIG lie! To combat anti-Asian racism we have to acknowledge that while some in the Asian community are doing quite well, and are excelling–not all, or even most, are. To combat anti-Asian racism, we have to acknowledge that most in the Asian community are subject to “othering” which excludes them from the full panoply of rights and privileges of our society. To combat anti-Asian racism, we have to acknowledge that everyone in the Asian community is a valuable, worthy, and deserving member of our community: that their heritage, culture, language, and contributions are invaluable and necessary.

There is a long and sad history in America of anti-Asian racism. Part of it includes the lumping together of diverse, disparate, and different people because they share heritage from certain geographic locations. Part of it is our failure to really look at what we did to legally oppress members from the Asian community for than 100 years. Part of it is because we want to claim that talking about race is, in and of itself, racist.

But we have a chance, again! History continually presents us with chances. Let’s take this chance to stand with those of Asian-descent, to say that we will not support, tolerate, or encourage anti-Asian racism. Until we do that, it won’t matter how much we say “All Lives Matter!” Today is the day to say, “Asian Lives Matter!”

*I recognize and apologize that my reference to “people of Asian descent” uses a broad and over-encompassing set of terms. I fully understand that the current targets of anti-Asian racism tend to be people identified as a part of the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community. I am consciously using the term “Asian” as a racial descriptor in the same way we use the term “Black” to refer to people who look like they share a geographic ancestry despite their nationalities of origin or descent. (Ie, the way Vincent Chin, who was a Chinese American, was killed by White Americans who hated the Japanese). I mean no offense and I certainly do not want to add to the pain and stigmatization and I welcome the opportunity to learn and apply more precise and accurate terminology and racial characterizations.

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