What happened in Georgia this week is appalling, yet sadly not surprising. Despite what we may tell ourselves to make us feel safer, better, freer, white supremacy is very real and very much a threat to Black, Brown, and Asian communities. And when it goes unchecked, as it has for so long, it manifests itself in violence. Couple white supremacy with misogyny, it’s an even more dangerous combination.
Let’s call the massacre that happened in Georgia for what it was: a racist, sexist attack on Asian women.
I volunteered to write this post for two reasons. One, writing helps me work through my feelings of rage, sadness, dear. But also because it’s the right thing to do. The burden of speaking in this moment shouldn’t be on my colleagues of Asian descent. It’s a moment for allies to be loud in this moment while at the same time, making space for our friends and colleagues for them to share their feelings in a safe space. And really, as a Black woman, the only difference between us is how we’re viewed by white supremacists: Equally dangerous and riddled with ignorance and hatred.
I could spend the next 10 pages digging into our collective histories within our communities, the brutality and degradation we have gone through because of white supremacy throughout history, etc., but there are lots of resources out there to educate, empower, and most importantly challenge ourselves. Challenge those assumptions; challenge our own bias, challenge the systems that hold white supremacy up while attempting to silence the rest of this. No, my energy in this space will not be used for this because there is parallel work that needs to be done here. And that work is to ask myself, to ask allies, where do we go next?
We cannot be silent in this moment. Because when it’s not the Asian community it will be the Hispanic community. When it’s not the Hispanic community, it will be the Native Indian community. When it’s not the Native Indian community, it will be the Black community. When. Not if, when. Because when we allow systems of oppression to go unchecked, the violence will continue. When we allow rape culture to go unchecked, the violence will continue. When we allow xenophobic tropes continue to dominate conversations and cultures, the violence will continue.
Being an ally means continuing to educate ourselves and others, to listen and make space for voices, to help our friends and loved ones heal, and yes, to fight against white supremacy. Because an attack on one is an attack on all, period. And regardless of our complicated relationship, none of us will truly be free from oppression until we all are.