Featured Artwork: Adrian Brandon
On May 25th, 2020:
George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, an innocent Black man suffocated for more than seven minutes by the pressure of Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee pressing onto his throat. Mr. Floyd begged for air, repeatedly calling out, “I can’t breathe.”
Let it be known that Mr. Floyd’s murder was done on the grounds of an alleged counterfeit bill of 20 dollars, let it be known that he never resisted. LET IT BE KNOWN that an Asian American man, Tou Thao, stood complicit in Mr. Floyd’s murder, head turned in complacency as an accessory.
Non-black people of colour must do better. To conform to white culture, to be accepted by the white masses, many of us have assimilated into their world after our immigration from our home countries: their language, their beliefs, their values, the way they act. Because of this, in a systematically racist society, we have succumbed to varying degrees of anti-blackness. We must do better, we must challenge this idea within ourselves, our friends, families, and our community.
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
If your anti-racism extends so far as only to advocate for Asian equality, if you are “too uncomfortable” to talk about what has become the next page in our children’s history books, if you believe that “all lives matter”, if you actively ignore the Black Lives Matter movement — you are part of the problem, but it is never too late to learn and to grow. Acknowledge what privilege you have as an Asian-American/Canadian, try to comprehend, empathize, and stand with your Black brothers and sisters.
The Black Lives Matter movement never said that only Black lives matter, it has never been a way to neglect and lessen the lives of everyone else. It brings awareness that Black lives just do, indeed matter, as a fact, and that they are important. This movement is important, it needs support, understanding, and people willing to educate themselves. It is not political or an opinion to care about humanity. It is not political to care about Black people and their lives.
Black lives matter today, tomorrow, and every day after that. It doesn’t end once Twitter stops trending the hashtag, it isn’t over once you post a black tile on your feed. This isn’t the time for performative activism — to increase one’s social capital rather than have a sincere devotion to a cause.
Sign petitions, donate if you are able, call and/or text the numbers, email the addresses, share reliable information, call out racism, and have uncomfortable conversations. Say their names. Be open-minded, have empathy, and listen to the Black community.
As minorities, we must come together in solidarity, and we can. We should.
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