Asian American Community Firmly Stands in Support with George Floyd’s Family and our African American Community

Media Contact: Nguyen Violette, AACC St. Louis President ( 314-452-5748)

On behalf of the Asian American business community and the undersigned Asian community organizations, we issue this statement to stand in support with George Floyd’s family following his tragic, unlawful killing. We strongly urge law enforcement to swiftly pursue justice and hold ALL individuals accountable for his death. We also voice our strong support for the members of our African American community, who must once again vocalize their grief and frustration over the historic, systemic, and pervasive racial discrimination in our communities.

The anger that is being voiced in our community and across our country is real, needs to be heard, and most importantly, change must occur.  This change needs to be addressed at all levels, from our National leaders, to our local government, and to each of us individually. Enough is enough. The Asian American community is often seen as being pitted against the African American community in times of unrest, sitting on the sidelines and refusing to engage. We vocally and forcefully reject this narrative.  It is up to all of us to constructively force change to happen and demand support from our own communities for our African American community.  We must all ask ourselves, are we speaking up when we see and hear discriminatory acts and statements from our own group? Are we creating environments where direct conversations about race can occur? Are we teaching our future generations that change must occur and it must continue with them? Finally, are we demanding racial equality, inclusion and promotion from our business partners, leaders and law enforcement? If not, we are part of the problem.

In 2014, the St. Louis community was at the center of attention following the death of Michael Brown.  In the weeks, months and years following his death, there was tremendous work done to improve racial equality in Ferguson. Just last night, we saw the long-fought fruits of this labor where Ella Gray, became the first female African American mayor of Ferguson. We must take the lessons we learned in 2014 and continue to advocate for change in our region and nationally.

Even while the Asian American community lives in fear of harassment and violence in public spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot and should not stay silent while our African American community is under attack. Just as in 1982, when the African American community came to our aid to augment our voice when Vincent Chin was murdered, we must stand firmly with them in these times of unrest. Unequivocally and unconditionally, we say to our African American community, Black Lives Matter. Your agony is our agony, your march is our march, and when you are victorious, we will celebrate with you. Because only when Black Lives Matter, can All Lives Matter.

I think everybody understands all lives matter. I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter. Rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that’s happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.” – President Barack Obama



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