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How to Practice Asian American Solidarity for Ferguson

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With news of the no indictment of Darren Wilson, protests and general outrage has sprung up everywhere from marches in New York to the viral hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Some Asian Americans may feel that this is none of their business; not all white people are racist or perhaps this is purely a black people issue. This is wrong. The issue of Ferguson, police brutality and the general institutional racism rampant in America and around the world is a problem that requires the attention of everyone, including Asian Americans.

It is imperative that we stand with our fellow People of Color, because in the end, no matter how high the Asian income levels are, no matter how many Asians attend your college, no matter how many times Bill O’Reilly screams about Asian Privilege, we are not White. The American systems (be it justice, education, or economic) as it stands does not benefit our yellow faces. We face racism, discrimination, and prejudice. Colored bodies litter the streets and yellow is not an exception. So speak out and get angry. As Soya Jung said, “Our options are invisibility, complicity, or resistance, and black rage is a clarion call for standing on the correct side of the color line, for reaping the collective rewards of justice.”

At the same time though, it is also important to remember that the Black voice is the focal point of this battle. The colored bodies include yellow, but the data shows that most of them are Black. Arthur Chu once said that as an Asian American, ”I fear being snubbed and sometimes spat on but rarely shot. And that is a very important difference.“ Anti-Blackness is a real issue and a critical factor of what is at play in Ferguson. As fellow People of Color, Asian Americans must stand tall and loud, but as Black allies, we must be sure to let Black voices ring out clear.

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