February 27, 2023
This week marks the end of Black History Month and nearly two months since the police killing of Tyre Nichols, who was laid to rest on February 1. During a time meant to celebrate the contributions and strength of the Black community, Black people across the nation have had to mourn and grapple with yet another traumatic act of institutional violence.
Once again, we at Stop AAPI Hate condemn the actions of the police officers who brutally attacked Tyre Nichols, as well as the institutions and structures that have perpetuated such violence and terror against Black people for generations.
Today, we affirm our solidarity with the Black community. While our stories and struggles are in many ways unique, Black and Asian communities also share a rich history of joining together in movements for liberation, dignity, and equality. In many instances, including the activism that secured the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, we have Black leaders and organizers to thank for winning fundamental rights and protections – not just for the Black community but also for all communities of color, including ours.
We honor our shared experiences and the decades of cross-racial solidarity that have paved the way for the work we do today in pursuit of racial justice. At the same time, Stop AAPI Hate also acknowledges that there is much more work ahead when it comes to consistently and meaningfully showing up for the Black community, and we commit to these efforts moving forward. That means:
- Learning from and listening to the Black voices long at the forefront of the fight for racial justice. As we work to strengthen our relationships with the Black community, we acknowledge that the deep, hard work of solidarity must move at the pace of trust, so that those closest to the harms of hate and racism have the fullest access to healing, repair, and justice. When we listen and learn, we must ensure Black voices and perspectives are centered.
- Activating AAPI communities to speak out and take action against anti-Blackness in our laws, narratives, and everyday lives. The policies, laws, and norms that attempt to diminish Black lives, communities, and history – including the recent attacks on voting rights and African American studies – are forms of hate and dehumanization that AAPIs cannot tolerate. Additionally, more must be done to address the racism, colorism, and anti-Blackness within and beyond AAPI communities, which isolate and turn us against each other. We commit to speaking out against anti-Blackness, and we will continue to educate our supporters about the ways in which white supremacist forces attempt to minimize the harms of racism by driving a wedge between Black and Asian communities.
- Ensuring that our solutions do not harm Black and other communities of color. Stop AAPI Hate will continue to ground our solutions in non-carceral, community-based solutions. We uphold an expansive definition of hate, because we recognize that hate comes in many forms – on the interpersonal, intrapersonal, and institutional levels. Institutional violence and police violence continue to disproportionately harm Black people, and punitive solutions that can fuel such violence are in direct opposition to our values. Within our own communities, Pacific Islanders in the U.S. are also harmed by police violence at a disproportionately high rate.
- Continuing our work to grow the multiracial movement to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination. Stop AAPI Hate’s founding mission is rooted in the recognition that we cannot address anti-Asian racism and hate in a silo. All of our work across our three core issue areas – education equity, civil rights, and community safety – is based on the belief that we must address structural racism and its impact on all communities, not just our own, in order to secure true liberation.
For example, as we advocate for ethnic studies to be included in curriculums, we acknowledge that attacks against African American studies are also an attack on Asian American studies and Pacific Island studies. And as we work with lawmakers to make public spaces safer, we do so on behalf of AAPI, Black, and all other communities that are targeted with hate and harassment. Moving forward in our work, we strive to collaborate more closely and intentionally with Black communities, advocates, and leaders by expanding our outreach efforts, strengthening relationships with Black-led organizations, and exploring meaningful partnership opportunities.
This is just the beginning of our coalition’s effort to strengthen our solidarity with the Black community. As we strive to uphold and level up these commitments, we also pledge to remain transparent and accountable. Please stay tuned for more specific updates on our efforts.
White supremacy and institutional racism continue to harm all of us, so we remind our communities that cross-racial solidarity is more critical than ever. Civil rights leaders such as Fannie Lou Hamer and Martin Luther King, Jr., have said it best: No one is free until we are all free.
Stop AAPI Hate