Content warning: Racist violence, anti-Asian racism, white supremacy, anti-Black racism
By Fiona Kanagasingam, Chief Equity + Learning Officer, and Merle McGee, Chief Equity + Engagement Officer
As Asian communities prepared to celebrate the Lunar New Year, communities across the nation experienced a surge in anti-Asian racist violence and hate. We watched in horror violent attacks against Asian elders and harassment of our Asian siblings in Oakland, Seattle and New York City.
We are sickened and filled with grief, and condemn these hateful racist attacks. Sadly, we are not surprised that our nation continues to combat xenophobic ideas about the origins of COVID-19, similar ideas that have been levelled against other communities of color during public health crises, even as these communities most struggle with financial hardships and the endless cycles of trauma and loss created by our failed handling of this pandemic.
We were also disheartened that during Black History and Futures month, the dominant media narrative about anti-Asian racism fuels tensions between Asian and Black communities and exemplifies how white supremacy operates to pit one community's safety against the other.
We know under white supremacy our shared experiences of dehumanization rob our communities of economic opportunities, health, sanctuary, and belonging. We must fight anti-Asian racism everywhere, not with anti-Blackness, but with a deep commitment to our interdependence and a collective commitment to work together to fight the oppressive attitudes and structures where racism and hate thrive.
We uplift the work of organizers working to build multiracial solidarity and community solutions to eliminate violence against Asian communities without over-reliance on policing and other divisive tactics. We know that we need each other, that there is space for all of us. To learn more about how communities are fighting anti-Asian hate, and how each of us can do our part, check out these links:
- The Coalition for Community Safety and Justice (CCSJ) Asian community conversation.
- Attacks on Asian Americans demand new solutions
- On Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: Who is Our Real Enemy?
- Rally Saturday, February 27 in NYC: Asian American Federation and other community partners are rallying against anti-Asian racism and calling for community-centered solutions this Saturday in Foley Square. You can find the details here.