To our beloved Black siblings:
On this day, June 1st, 2020, we write to express our solidarity with you. In the past weeks, we witnessed the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and too many others. We then witnessed the escalating violence that the police have perpetuated in our shared communities, while people gathered and risked their lives to protest the ongoing police brutality with which this nation continues to reckon.
We, the undersigned, united as people of faith, the Asian diaspora, and the spiritual descendants of Asian American activists, choose to write this letter to you, because silence is complicity. We refuse to be complicit in harming your collective communities.
We acknowledge that the model minority myth is a weapon of white supremacy that has driven a wedge between our communities; some of us have come to depend on that myth for survival and assimilation to the detriment of Black people. We reject the anti-Blackness and colorism that exist in our own communities.
We proclaim that Black Lives Matter and that the Divine Creator has made Black people in Their image.
We reject the harm done to you historically and in the present.
We deeply mourn and lament what our society and nation have perpetuated on your communities and persons. We affirm that the Divine Creator, too, mourns the lives of all of the Black folks who have been murdered at the altar of white supremacy.
We lament that structural inequalities in our society have caused disproportionate harm and adverse medical outcomes to Black persons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We affirm that, in the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “A riot is the language of the unheard,” and in the words of Alicia Garza, “#BlackLivesMatter is really a re-humanization project. It’s a way for us to love each other again, to love ourselves, and to project that love into the world so that we can transform it.”
We are with you in your mourning and rage. We are grateful for your history of leadership, courage, and efforts to realize the dream of liberation for all.
We are grateful for the historical and present solidarity Black activists have shown the Asian American communities.
We promise to follow in the footsteps of the Asian American activists who came before us, who were in solidarity with you.
We will hold police and other institutions of justice accountable, and support policies that divest political power and funding from these institutions, and reinvest them in community-led peacekeeping efforts.
We support efforts to demilitarize police.
We will fight for education reform, healthcare for all, and build communities around collective action and mutual aid.
We will fight for the rights of all people, especially Black folks, to exist and live with dignity and honor.
We promise that our bodies, minds, spirits, and finances will participate in and break with yours in protest, in order to demolish empire and dismantle white supremacy.
We will be your co-conspirators.
Aimee An-Lun Sher 佘安綸, (she/they), Editor-in-Chief
Virginia Duan 段怡宣, (she/her), Living Justice Editor
Symphony Chau 周以心 (she/her), Liturgy Editor
Christopher Paek (he/him), As I Am Editor
Stella W Phelps 원혜령 (she/they), PAAC Moderator & Former Living Justice Editor
Edward Walrod 도우정, (he/they), Floating Editor & Writer
Violet Lee (she/they), Floating Editor & Writer
Liz Lin (she/her), PAAC Co-founder
Sushi Au 歐瑩瑩 (she/they), Seasonal Editor
Mira Sawlani-Joyner (she/her)
Michael Sepidoza Campos, Ph.D. (he/him)
Laura Mariko Cheifetz (she/her)
For our fellow APIDA, readers, and PAAC family who would like to join us in this work and this declaration, we will have resources on just a few ways to support and join with protestors on a separate post later this week. For an immediate action step, you can sign onto this letter here.