I am sitting with a lot of grief and anger over the recent violence against Asian Americans, and especially the murder of eight people — six of them Asian women — in Atlanta this week. I am struggling to find words to name what many of us are feeling in this moment but I do know that there is legitimate fear for the safety of our community, anger that this clearly racialized violence is only now receiving wider public attention, and exhaustion from the knowledge that this is nothing new and the hypervigilance that knowledge requires of us.
It would be easy to let this push us apart. Already, I see attempts to drive a wedge between Asian Americans and Black and brown communities who are also targets of racialized violence, to issue calls for increased policing that would only bring more harm. But if there is one thing I’ve learned from our history, it’s that, in the words of Grace Lee Boggs, “the only way to survive is by taking care of one another, by recreating our relationships to one another.”
It is my hope that as we process our fear and anger, we can also learn from the coalitions that came together in previous generations — to overturn alien land laws and restrictive covenants, to achieve redress for WWII incarceration, to demand justice for Vincent Chin and other victims of white supremacist violence — and continue moving in solidarity to keep our communities safe today.
With love and solidarity,