Stop Asian hate. Asian lives matter.
These statements should not offend you. They can, they might, but they shouldn’t. As a Black woman, I am going to explain why I won’t let them.
With the re-traumatization of the murder of George Floyd playing out live on multiple televised and online outlets, I want to make sure that the simultaneous trauma of hate crimes and violence against Asians are not drowned out. Asian lives matter, and being a Black woman in America does not give me any right to ignore one injustice over another.
The violence laying siege to our country does not end at racial lines but crosses them. In most major news outlets, we have seen the faces of those responsible for the mass shootings in Colorado and Atlanta. What we may miss in this era of constant emotional duress and social violence are the one-off, brutal, and seemingly random attacks committed by unexpected perpetrators: Black people.
Of course, Black people are not exclusively committing these heinous acts, but it has happened enough for me as a Black woman to be aware and to be ashamed. I cannot ignore that I am embarrassed. I am dismayed. I am disappointed. And I am sorry, so sorry.
To Asian American, Pacific Islander community and members impacted and affected by the increasing violence, racism, and hatred in Portland, in Atlanta, in New York, in California, everywhere in our country, we support you. You are valued. You are loved.
The contemporary relationship between all minorities can be complicated. Human beings of any persuasion can come with prejudices. In the echo chamber of community, they can fester. That festering can give birth to hatred – and hatred is the partner to racism. These atrocities, whether historical or ongoing, do not represent an entire people, culture, nation, or history; but the exclusivity of prejudice, hate, and racism is not owned by white America.
No one, regardless of race, is immune to perpetuating acts of bigotry and intolerance. There are numerous examples in history of racial prejudice on a global scale between racial and ethnic minority groups(1-6). While these events are larger and more prominent than what we are seeing in the United States, they all share a common and disturbing trend – they begin as one-off, under-reported crimes targeting a local community, before bursting into the national spotlight as a humanitarian crisis.
The narrative around the recent violent acts against the AAPI community here in the United States unilaterally condemns these crimes as acts of white supremacy. And while this is true for the hate crimes committed by white people, it fails to adequately describe the hate crimes committed by minority groups against one another.
By supporting the fallacy that people of color have no history or culture beyond and outside of American history, have no self-control or autonomy to govern themselves, or show common decency and respect, and can only learn from white people – thus are helplessly incapable of being responsible for their own actions – is insulting, inaccurate, and incredibly demeaning. It is deceptive, shortsighted, and arrogant to unilaterally blame racial prejudice between minorities on white culture and white supremacy. That thinking endorses the very thing it attempts to dismantle: white supremacy.
Anyone can be prejudiced. Anyone can be racist. Everyone can put an end to it. And so we will.
Myself, our board, and our organization condemn all forms of racism, discrimination, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, and intolerance against any human being for any reason. We condemn violence perpetuated in all communities against all persons. We are anti-racist and will work tirelessly to the best of our ability to call out racism, in our own communities, in our own groups, and in our work, to better serve and support our members.
Consider the words of Angela Davis: “"I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I'm changing the things I cannot accept." This is where I stand.
Won’t you join us?
Get involved and contribute to the following organizations and initiatives, if you like:
Support these advocates:
- Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) - link to their statement here
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
- Asian American Advocacy Fund
- 9to5 Georgia
- National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Atlanta
How you can help:
- Donate. All donations will go directly to support the victims and their families and to support crisis intervention across the Asian American community.
- Here are more ways to support efforts in Georgia.
- Check out Vanderbuilt University Medical School's Healthcare Alliance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Employee Resource Group (HAAPI ERG) Anti-Asian Violence Resource Card
- ihollaback.org's Show Up: Your Guide to Bystander Invention
Take care of yourselves.
- Kaleema Murphy, Board Chair
Here are some social commentary articles to additional perspective:
- Venkatraman, S. & Lockhart, P.R., (2020 October). NBC News. Not enough or double the prejudice: On being Black and Asian American in 2020.
- Lee, J. & Huang, T., (2021 March). Brookings. Why the trope of Black-Asian conflict in the face of anti-Asian violence dismisses solidarity.
Treisman, R., (2021 March). NPR. Attack On Asian Woman In Manhattan, As Bystanders Watched, To Be Probed As Hate Crime.
Examples of Ethnocentric Cleansing Within Racial Groups:
- Jammu Massacre of Muslim ethnic minorities
- Treatment of the Chinese by Japanese Imperial troops during WWII’s Rape of Nanking
- Hutu government majority against the Tutsi minority in the Rwandan Civil War
- Rohingya Muslim crackdown in Myanmar
- Chinese government’s efforts to monitor and oppress the Uighur Muslim minority
- Syrian conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish people
*Disclaimer: The articles shared are not endorsements of the publication or media outlet, the content or opinion expressed, or the authors.
**The examples above are not intended to minimize anyone's trauma of bigotry, hatred, or racism. They are shared to illuminate that every human as an individual or a group is capable of hate and violence.
On Thursday, January 28th, 2021, we hosted our first virtual event of the year!
Last month, five nonprofits – including YNPN Portland – presented their board, committee, or other skill-building volunteer opportunities at an online YNPN event. Even if you missed the event, it’s not too late to join one of these nonprofits! All five organizations are still recruiting and have extended any deadlines accordingly.
Here is what you need to know to learn more or apply:Read more
Looking to get more involved with YNPN Portland?
As a volunteer-driven organization, YNPN Portland is always looking for dedicated talent to help further our mission of engaging young nonprofit professionals around personal and professional development.
Volunteering at YNPN Portland offers an opportunity to explore ideas and try on new leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment - all while making friends and building connections with fellow nonprofit professionals in Portland!
Volunteers typically get involved by joining a committee or becoming part of the leadership team. More information is below.
If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the interest form and we will work to get you connected.
Thank you for your interest in YNPN Portland – we look forward to hearing from you!
The Marketing Committee is responsible for all marketing and publicity of YNPN Portland. Volunteers on this committee manage the YNPN Portland brand and related communications, including website, eNews, social media platforms, promotional materials, and PR & Media relationships. The team’s primary aim is to market YNPN Portland news and events for the overall expansion and success of the group through a multi-faceted communications plan.
Volunteers on this committee share and strengthen their writing, editing, design, and technology talents, as well as engaging in creative brainstorming for long-term planning.
The Programming Committee is responsible for creating and planning YNPN Portland’s professional development events. Volunteers on this committee brainstorm and develop engaging event ideas, seek community partners and collaborations for speakers, event locations and food, communicate with the marketing committee to promote events, and see our events through to execution.
Volunteers are detail oriented, dedicated, driven, creative, connected and learn what it takes to run successful events.
Board of Directors
YNPN Portland is not currently looking for new Board members. This space will be updated when the next round of Board applications opens.
Become a volunteer