Addressing Anti-Blackness Within the Vietnamese/Chinese & Asian Community

Last updated: 07/10/2020

New additions will be highlighted in blue

Contents:

  1. Educating yourself
  2. Educating others (articles/Carrds, LFBL, YouTube videos, TED talks
  3. How do I say…?
  4. Strategies that have helped others
  5. Donations
  6. Petitions

*Everyone is welcome to share this document across all platforms for activist and educational purposes. I take no credit. This document is insufficient as an introduction to unlearning anti-Blackness in the self; it should be used by those who have some prior knowledge and wish to relate it to others (particularly Vietnamese-speaking and Chinese-speaking others). There are many resources available for unlearning anti-Blackness in the self, curated by others online and accessible elsewhere.

*While we try to educate our elders, remember that we can also influence our younger cousins & siblings who hear & internalize what our parents, aunts, uncles, etc. say.


First, read this FaceBook post by Alani Fujii:

“Asian Americans, we do not need to center ourselves in this moment at all. Signs/art saying Yellow Peril supports Black Power and Asians for Black Lives (or [insert ethnic group] for Black Lives) have never been enough, and are not appropriate in this moment. I keep seeing some organizers/organizations reference this month as being Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and tying it to BLM and honestly, this is not enough. I’m tired year after year, seeing this same lip service be recycled over and over and over with just different names of murdered Black people. It is not enough; it has never been enough.

I’m tired of seeing weird Instagram chains of “let me tag the next 10 people who will for sure repost this story saying Black Lives Matter.” Asian Americans, we have MASTERED this performative shit that makes us feel like we are safe, that we can call a minority card, and leave it at that. I’m tired of seeing statements like “We [don’t] condone these injustices,” without call to actions in these statements, without demands that everyone in these organizations pool their resources to actually be sent towards folks who are working on the ground for Black liberation. And I mean money.

It is important to talk to our families. It is important to not ignore the anti-Blackness so deeply inherent in many Asian cultures. This needs to happen, ALONGSIDE sustained resource support to Black people and movements.

We understand that the Asian American Pacific Islander community as defined by the United States is so all-encompassing, with different subgroups having radically different realities of existing here, and all this performative stuff further erases how these differences impact responses and support for Black liberation. Unfortunately we live in a country where the model minority myth continually is perpetuated to divide groups within and outside the Asian American community, and hey, those of us siding with being a model minority slides us closer to whiteness, and isn’t that safe for us? At least we’re not Black right? At the bottom right? When Asian Americans drink that shit up by staying complicit in white supremacy, we all suffer. People die because of it.”


Educating Yourself

Why can these conversations be so difficult to have? One main issue is that we are breaking their illusion of America as a perfect place, a safe haven, meanwhile one of the main reasons they like America is because it provided them refuge from the violence & war back home. It's crucial, in my opinion, to explain that just because they aren't the main targets of violence here that it doesn't exist (against Black people). Let them know that if they are choosing to ignore this issue that they are no better than those who didn't protect them back home. Let them know that one reason why they were even able to seek refuge in America is because of Black activists who protested against the Vietnam War and protested for immigration. Remind them that their roots are saturated in the efforts of Black people and that they owe Black people. And let me be clear to all of us that standing up for Black lives & rights is not an exchange or a favour. It's specifically our debt as a human rights issue.

Refer to: Showing Up For Black People Is a Duty, Not a Transaction - Xoai Pham (Link)

Deconstructing the ‘Good Refugee’ Myth - Nikki Chau (Link)


  • If you capitalize “Asian,” you must also capitalize “Black”
  • “African American” and “Black person” are not interchangeable nor synonymous
  • Never refer to Black people as “blacks”

Here’s why (Link)

To learn more about how to be a better ally, refer to A Guide to Allyship (Link)

Asians Against Anti-Blackness Reading Group (Link)

Black and Vietnamese in Multimedia Syllabus (Link)

BlackLivesMatters.carrd.co (Educate Yourself - Link)

What is white (and likely non-Black POC) progressive backlash? - Twitter thread by @academicfoxhole (Link)

Podcasts and playlists that unpack questions of revolution and liberation - Twitter thread by @chebaiman (Link)

How to be anti-racist (Link)

@IDonatedNowWhat on Instagram (Link)

@SoYouWantToTalkAbout on Instagram (Link)

@TheSlacktivists on Instagram (Link)

Black History Month Library (Link)

The Database for Police Abolition (Link)

The Radical Database (Link)

Twitter thread of podcasts (by @__incandescent - Link)


Please check in with your Black friends & family; share these resources if they need them:

Google Document containing sliding scale therapy resources in CA, NY, and national directories (Link)

7 Mental Health Resources for Black People Right Now - @healthy_ish on Instagram (Link)


Educating Others

Articles/Carrds

The Interpreter (Link)

“The Interpreter is a news aggregator aimed at civic education and empowerment within the Vietnamese community.

[...]

"The Interpreter" aims to do two things: 1) Bridge the information gap caused by language barrier by translating relevant news, editorial, op-ed, and opinion articles from reputable international news agency, into Vietnamese; and 2) provide young people with Vietnamese-language materials to help them start difficult conversations regarding social justice, police brutality, solidarity, and history of racism in America.”

VSAN4Abolition.carrd.co (Link)

BlackLivesMatter.vn (Link)

BLMVietInfo.carrd.co (Link)

A collection of visual resources and infographics (with some Vietnamese translations) for the Black Lives Matter movement & related human rights initiatives.

VietsForBLM.carrd.co (Link)

@VietActivism on Instagram (Link)

Important Vietnamese Terms to Know When Addressing Anti-Blackness - FaceBook post by PIVOT (Link)

Catherine Tran has Vietnamese-translated news articles regarding BLM - Instagram post by @cathysick (Link)

#BlackLivesMatter là gì? / What is #BlackLivesMatter? - FaceBook post by Phúc Tô (Link)

Tại sao chúng tôi biểu tìn? / Why are we protesting? - FaceBook post by Phúc Tô (Link)

Descriptions of victims of anti-Black racism in America and explanation of Black Lives Matter - FaceBook post in Vietnamese by My Chu (Link)

Tại sao nên ủng hộ đấu tranh chống phân biệt chủng tộc? / Why should you support the Black Lives Matter movement? - FaceBook post in Vietnamese by Nam Do (Link)

NPR podcast with a recording of a conversation between a Vietnamese American daughter & father, in Vietnamese, about Black Lives Matter (Link)

3 Ways Black People Have Shown Solidarity with Asians That We Don’t Talk About - Hannah Le (Link)

6 Ways Asian Americans Can Tackle Anti-Black Racism in Their Families - Kim Tran (Link)

Model Minority Complex - Summary - Felix (Link)

Black History Month Reflection as a Vietnamese American - Nikki Chau

English version (Link)

Vietnamese version (Link)

How to respond to claims regarding “black on black crime” - Twitter thread by @michaelharriot (Link)

Letters for Black Lives

"Letters for Black Lives started as a crowdsourced letter for Asian-American children who wanted a framework for discussing issues of anti-Blackness and police violence with their immigrant parents." (Available in 24 languages, including English.)

Learn more (Link)

English version (Link)

Vietnamese version (Link)

Chinese Simplified version (Link) / Traditional version (Link)

TED Talks (Vietnamese & Chinese subtitles/transcript)

The racial politics of time - Brittney Cooper (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

Color blind or color brave? - Mellody Hobson (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

How to raise a black son in America - Clint Smith (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

My road trip through the whitest towns in America - Rich Benjamin (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

Does racism affect how you vote? - Nate Silver (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them - Verna Myers (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

The little problem I had renting a house - James A. White Sr. (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

We need to talk about an injustice - Bryan Stevenson (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)

How we’re priming some kids for college–and others for prison - Alice Goffman (VN Link)  /  (CNSimp Link)


How Do I Say…?

How to say “I invite everyone to watch this video to understand the issue of racism against Black people in America. This video has subtitles in Vietnamese”:

(NAME) mời mọi người coi video này cho hiểu vấn đề kỳ thị chủng tộc đối với người da đen ở Mỹ. Video này có phụ đề tiếng việt.


How to explain that ”Material possessions can be replaced. Peace can be restored. But we can’t reclaim a life once it is lost. The protests are in response to all of the lives that were lost due to police brutality”:

Đồ của có thể thay thế. Hòa bình có thể khôi phục. Nhưng mình không thể mang lại cuộc sống đã mất. Các cuộc biểu tình là để đáp trả tất cả các cuộc sống của người da đen bị mất vì sự tàn bạo của cảnh sát.


How to explain that “Many people are protesting peacefully. Many instigating white people and undercover cops (agent provocateurs) are inciting/promoting violence and theft so that the media can criminalize Black people”:

Nhiều người đang biểu tình ôn hòa. Nhiều người da trắng xúi giục và cảnh sát bí mật (agent provocateurs) đang kích động bạo lực và trộm cắp để giới truyền thông có thể tội phạm hóa người da đen.

→ Video evidence of cops firing tear gas at peaceful protesters with their hands up (Link)


Strategies That Have Helped Others

  • Breaking up main points into smaller conversations, which can make them less confusing and more thorough - the consistency also helps with consolidating information and overall stance
  • Choosing a day on/moment in which they have greater mental capacity (e.g., when they are well rested) to hold your conversations
  • Framing the conversations as if they are educating you (e.g., “I’m having trouble with this article/word and Google Translate is unreliable. Could you explain its meaning to me?”)
  • Reminding them that they have raised you to be compassionate, empathetic, educated, and smart, and that these qualities are foundational to your support for BLM
  • Building a rapport with them by modeling these characteristics in other areas of your life
  • Reminding them that fighting back against oppressive systems is embedded in Vietnamese history and that viewing BLM as more deviant or destructive is rooted in prejudice
  • Preparing for counter arguments by educating yourself

Difficulties you may encounter & what you can do:

  • Resistance because they perceive phrases such as “abolish/defund the police” as offensive or provocative
  • Take the time to explain these concepts
  • Try to address one issue at a time
  • Try to avoid cramming multiple “radical” concepts into one conversation
  • Ask them how these concepts can be made more palatable for them
  • Forgo smaller details if that’s what it takes for them to accept the main focus of the concept (e.g., more conservative/traditional individuals will align with defunding the police than abolishing them)
  • Unwillingness to listen based on:
  • Honorifics/respect (e.g., the belief that a child should not argue with or “teach” an elder)
  • See strategies (above)
  • The idea that, as a young person, you are too idealistic about the world (or are brainwashed)
  • See strategies (above)
  • Unresolved trauma related to immigration/refugee and war experiences


Donations

*Do some research on each fund/organization before donating. Some, such as the Minnesota Freedom Fund, have stated that they are overwhelmed with donations.

*DO NOT donate to: DeRay Mckesson, Shaun King, Campaign Zero, Change.org, or BlackLivesMatter.com (Source 1), (Source 2)

*As of 13/06/2020, I have removed many individual links to funds from this document because they are accessible in the Carrds/Google Documents/Spreadsheets below

BlackLivesMatters.carrd.co (Donations - Link)

MutualAid.carrd.co (Link)

Google Spreadsheet of funds/organizations by city/state (Link)

Google Document of bails funds & memorial funds (Link) - @botanicaldyke on Twitter

Split a donation to all groups listed on this page, or allocate specific amounts to individual groups. (Link)

Stream this video to donate (Link)

14 Black funds and 23 creative ecosystems to support (Instagram post by @annika.izora - Link)

Gianna Floyd fund (George Floyd’s child) (Link)

Jessica Orta fund (Link)

“Jessica Orta, wife of Ramsey Orta [who filmed Eric Gardner] is seeking financial help to divorce him because he is abusive. He has even used money he received from the BLM movement to track her down and harm her & her child & threatened her with gang violence.” (Source)

Rayshard Brooks - JUNE 12TH, 2020

Atlanta bail fund - protestors are in need (Link)

GoFundMe for his family (Link)

Memorial Funds

Memorial fund for David McAtee - JUNE 1ST 2020 killed by law enforcement in Louisville, KY (Link)

Memorial fund for Regis Korchinski-Paquet - MAY 27TH 2020 killed by law enforcement in Toronto, ON (Link)

Organizations

Twitter thread of Black-led LGBTQ services and activist groups (by @crookedtricking - Link)

North Star Health Collective (Link) 

Black Visions Collective (Link) 

Reclaim the Block (Link)

 

Petitions

BlackLivesMatters.carrd.co (Petitions - Link)

Google Document of 200+ petitions (Link)

Twitter thread of meaningful legislation that has been proposed (and in some cases, passed) to address police violence (by @samswey - Link)

Twitter thread of petitions for the Black lives that still have not gotten justice (by @versacetaehyung - Link)

Twitter thread of petitions that you may have not seen yet (by @bizzlesblessing - Link)

Twitter thread of petitions that are not getting enough attention or are close to their goal (by solaceli - Link)