Asian Americans experience unique challenges in our country's racial landscape: we are seen as perpetual foreigners, regardless of our relationships to our country. We are painted to be the "model minority" and pitted against other communities of color. It is our responsibility to address prejudices within our own communities and stand alongside our partners in the multi-racial community to dismantle the systems that advance an unequal society.
Moving Forward, Together
The United States has reached a new phase in our long struggle for equal rights and social justice for all members of the American community. We have spent the last few years watching police brutality against communities of color, targeting and surveillance of black and brown communities, and the vilification of immigrants. These challenges do not just impact one community, and cannot be addressed just by any one community.
By working in tandem with civil rights partners, we can address issues like affirmative action, racial discrimination in our political process, the lack of representation and diversity and media, and much more.
The Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community is staggeringly diverse. Many identify with their own particular ethnic group—sharing a language, the spices in their kitchens, religious traditions, and much more.
Asian Americans are recent immigrants and families who have been here for generations. Some are doctors, lawyers, engineers, and entertainers, and some are among the most disadvantaged communities in America. We are as diverse as our country.
Many have named these to be obstacles in establishing solidarity even within our community. But more and more, we see that our experiences and struggles are more similar than not. And we know we are stronger when we work together, with each other and with other minority groups and communities of color. Our fight to achieve equality cannot be, and should not be, conducted in ethnic silos.
In the past year, hate crimes against Muslims have spiked to their highest level since the events of 9/11. In the aftermath of an election infused with hateful rhetoric against immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people, women, and other minority communities, we have begun to see reports on social media of hate directed towards all different minority communities, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In order to better understand the climate our communities are living in, we launched a hate-tracker along with the other Advancing Justice affiliates. Stories submitted through the site help us monitor incidents around the country and inform our policy and program work.