Asian-Americans need to be more emphatic toward African-Americans. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
Orange County School of the Arts

Opinion: End Asian American tolerance toward anti-black racism

In light of recent events, a commonality I’ve seen in the Asian American community is tolerance toward anti-black racism. I’ve heard things like how Asians have built their own lives despite their own discrimination, and how black people should do the same.

Nobody is denying the fact that Asians face racism in the United States too. There’s a long list of grievances toward the Asian American community, from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to current COVID-19 discrimination. But the discrimination we face is different from that toward African Americans.

We do not go out in public with a fear of being mislabeled as a criminal or “thug.” They do.

I’ve seen many people talk about white privilege, but almost nobody acknowledges that Asian privilege is a thing as well.

For years, we’ve had to endure the “model minority” myth. Now, because of that, I’ve seen many of my Asian American peers not stand beside our people of color brothers and sisters.

It is unfair to claim that African American people should build lives for themselves like Asians have. In doing so, you are feeding into this “model minority” stereotype. You are also feeding into oppression and white supremacy.

The African-American community has endured being trafficked to the United States through the transatlantic slave trade, almost 350 years of slavery and Jim Crow segregation for almost 100 years. Now, police officers have continuously escaped prosecution when people of color have been brutally murdered at the hands of our own supposed “peacekeepers.”

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, but do people of color really have equal rights?

The death of George Floyd was only the final straw. It is our duty to use our privilege to speak up about racial injustice and end police brutality.

I am calling all my fellow Asian Americans to understand where these protests are coming from and to stand up in support of them. A corrupt system that continues to punish people on the basis of nothing except their race is one that is unfit to remain in power. We must push for change and reform.