A Call to Action to My Fellow Asian-Americans in the face of Domestic Terrorism / by Cassandra Lam

As an Asian-American woman who is active in social justice and activism work here in NY, I'd like to take an opportunity to publicly declare my solidarity, now and always, in action and in words, with my black and brown brothers and sisters. I deeply believe in dismantling the multiple fucked up systems of oppression heavily at play every day in America. It manifests in many forms, some of the most dangerous taking shape as institutions that racist, patriarchal white men created to divide and control people of color. Much of what we've been spoon fed in terms of the dominant narrative or history books says that this is just how it's always been, as if these efforts are circumstantial and not in fact concerted, legislated, and evil attempts to maintain a hierarchy that places whiteness at the top while invalidating and demeaning other racial and ethnic groups.

It's not easy removing the veils of ignorance that enshroud each of us and have formed much of our understanding of the world. But as human beings, it's our responsibility and moral duty to educate ourselves on the ways in which the privileges we have and thrive by daily are founded upon the systemic oppression of other communities. Trying to stand aside or remain silent because this fight doesn't directly impact you is cowardly and detrimental to your own livelihood. A hierarchy that places whiteness at the top thrives on the hope that peoples of color will fight and destroy one another in the rat race for a better position. While we may live here and perhaps even hold citizenship here, this country wasn't really designed for us - POC came here as slaves, refugees, immigrants, products of war/colonization. For indigenous folk who are native to this continent, the soil we exist on today was actually robbed from them. Truthfully, America was designed by white people for white people in 1776 and until we force our way into the White House, Congress, the C-suite of top banks/corporations, schools, police departments, courtrooms, etc., it will never be for us.

White supremacy exists and remains strong because it doesn't JUST look like the KKK or men with tiki torches. It lives in institutions as well as daily interactions of our lives. It lives through those who point at the racist people perpetrating violence on TV and shout, "See, that's not me! I'm not like that!" instead of consciously engaging in dialogue with yourself and your communities to test your beliefs and actions. It lives when people remain silent because it's uncomfortable to push the envelope or stick your neck out for someone else's cause.

Earlier today, I saw a tweet that called on white people to get their people. As an Asian-American woman, consider this my way of trying to get to my fellow Asian-Americans in hopes that we can mobilize and find our voice/stance in the resistance. There's no safety for us and any sense of it right now is tenuous at best - our fake security only exists because white supremacy, for now, considers us less a threat than black and brown communities.

If anyone wants to have a conversation, ask questions, or join me in any upcoming activist or healing events as we ground our boots into the dirt for the continued fight ahead, please reach out. I wasn't always this woke and I've still got tons to learn, but I'm always willing to devote some of my energy to bringing more people along.