My intention with this statement is to educate our community. What is happening right now should not be a shock. We have seen systematic racism occur for years and years so being shocked is not something everyone should be feeling right now. Most of us are not black, therefore we have not experienced the black experience in America.
Yes, our oppression is existent, but we have not been mistreated by the system the way they have. Many Asian Americans are not standing with black people during this time due to their conservative beliefs. To those people: you have fallen into the trap that is the model minority mindset.
In 1965, the US government enforced an immigration act that only permitted Asian Americans who were extremely educated/had special skills to offer. Due to this, the US government called Asian Americans “model minorities” because we were educated. So they weaponized us and showed us to the black community essentially saying “If the Asians can do it, so can you”.
However, this mindset is flawed because African Americans were not given the privilege to be introduced to the system based on education like we were; they were introduced to the system based on a property (as slaves).
Even after slavery, there were lynchings, Jim Crow laws, segregation, mass incarceration, etc. They were brought into a system that was never for them in the first place. In this way, we are extremely privileged. Yes, we face oppression but it’s nowhere near to what they have experienced.
The main argument I tend to hear is “it happened so long ago, black people today have it much easier” while that is true to an extent, the mistreatment of black people throughout American history has left generational effects on the black community. Now let’s talk about the protests.
Often when I talk to people about this, they say “I get it, but protest another way, get justice another way” but they cannot name another way. Martin Luther King himself said, “a riot is the language of the unheard”. The black community has been systematically oppressed for years and they have felt neglected by their own country.
They feel: unheard. These riots and these protests are warranted. They tried peaceful protests: Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem. They got backlash for that as well. There is no RIGHT way to protest. This reaction is warranted.
I also see people saying: “protest but don’t loot and damage properties” and all I can say to that is: merchandise can be replaced, black lives cannot. Please educate yourselves on this topic and try to gain some understanding.