In mere days, we have witnessed the relentless and ruthless course of systemic racism in the United States and its—quite literally—suffocation of Black life. The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network stands in solidarity with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, as well as their grieving families and communities. It is important to recognize that the recent constellation of police brutality is by no means novel, but deeply rooted in the United States’ long genealogy of anti-Black violence and white supremacist logics. These logics, it is crucial to recognize, have been constantly reproduced and redeployed in the racialization of the Vietnamese during and after wartime. Racism is relational, and so must be our response.
“Justice” and “accountability” operate on different registers for distinctly-situated peoples. As non-Black people of color, we must hold our communities accountable in addressing the issue of Asian and Asian American complicity that is a reality in the racist society in which we all live. Justice for Black communities is only possible through critical and constant interrogation of how we benefit from—and actively participate in—systems that disproportionately dispossess Black lives. Throughout history, we have benefited from Black freedom struggles; now, likewise, we must stay connected to, care about, and collectivize for the Black community. Solidarity has been, but cannot be, a vacuous buzzword. Calls for solidarity must be accompanied by direct material action.
Thus, DVAN outlines a list of actions, readings, and tools for the community to engage:
Links to donate to the victims’ families, bail organizations, and Black communities fighting for justice:
- GoFundMe for George Floyd
- GoFundMe for Breonna Taylor
- GoFundMe for Ahmaud Arbery
- GoFundMe for Tony McDade
- Black Visions Collective: a Black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization based in Minneapolis
- Brooklyn Bail Fund: a group which pays bail for demonstrators, immigrant neighbors, and people of color
- Reclaim the Block: a grassroots organized based in Minneapolis fighting for violence prevention, housing, youth resources, and mental health response
- Minnesota Freedom Fund: local organization helping bail out protestors
Recommended readings on relational racism, anti-racism, abolition, and Afro-Asian solidarities:
- Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). “Solidarity Matters: Black History Month Through an Asian American Lens.” February 2, 2020.
- Black Women Radicals and the Asian American Feminist Collective. “Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List.” April 30, 2020.
- Class Trouble. “Notes on Abolition & Challenging the Rule of ‘Law and Order’ + Ways to Support Abolitionist Work.” May 27, 2020.
- Baker, Brea. “The Anti-Racist Reading List.” Elle. May 27, 2020.
- Kendi, Ibram X. “An Antiracist Reading List.” The New York Times. May, 29, 2019.
Tools to address racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in demanding accountability from our families and communities:
- Letters for Black Lives: a “crowd-sourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware” project collecting letters for non-Black people of color to amplify the Black Lives Matter movement in their communities
- The Translations Project: a coordination with Letters for Black Lives, which translates the letters into numerous languages to access non-English speaking community members
The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network