DISCRIMINASIAN
Asian American arts workers against White Supremacy:
A statement against
xenophobia and racial violence

To our friends and colleagues:

For over a year, our diasporic Asian communities have experienced a surge of racially-motivated assaults—on the street, at work, at the market, on public transportation, and outside our homes. We’ve begged our parents to stay in, arranged to have their groceries delivered, and asked them to avoid eye contact with strangers. 

We are art workers, we are educators, we are journalists, we are immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, we are parents and the children of elders like those who’ve been cruelly attacked in recent viral videos. We are your colleagues, your neighbors, your friends. We’ve all wondered if our next tense encounter in public will turn violent because someone doesn’t like our skin color or facial features. We are exhausted, scared, grieving, and angry, and yet we persevere.

Stop DiscriminAsian (SDA) started as a small group of friends in New York and Los Angeles who were looking to each other for support after enduring anti-Asian attacks in March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group expanded to art workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago, and has since collaborated with other groups fighting racism, within the arts and beyond. Collectively, we descend from regions that include present-day China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, South and North Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

SDA seeks to grow an inclusive and supportive space for social, emotional, artistic, critical, and political discourse created during a time of fear, isolation, and compounded crises. We recognize that Asian American political organizing has often excluded South, West, and Central Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and has long been shaped by American imperialist brutality, Islamophobia, and colorism. True solidarity acknowledges that white body supremacy
(1)
and anti-Blackness have violent repercussions on all of us. SDA reiterates its commitment to move forward together in solidarity with all marginalized groups against white supremacy and xenophobia.

The mass murder in Atlanta is the culmination of the United States’ vicious history of racist misogyny and racial capitalism. The quick acceptance and regurgitation of the white killer’s defense—that he was attempting to “eliminate” sexual “temptation”—by the local sheriff’s office and national media outlets condones violence against women, particularly women of color. This country began with centuries of chattel slavery designed by white men, inseparable from their sexual assault of Black women. Subsequent abuses of enslaved, indentured, and immigrant women include the Page Act of 1875, which deliberately portrayed Asian women as prostitutes and banned migrants from "Oriental countries." The hypersexualized racism directed against women in various Asian countries systematized through the US's imperialist activities informs and shapes this form of bigotry today. Between 2012 and 2016, sting operations against massage parlors in New York City’s Chinese immigrant neighborhoods led to an 2,700% increase in arrests of Asian-identified people. Last year, 68% of reported anti-Asian hate crimes were aimed at women, and online, hatred against Asian women is rampant.

In an attempt to further educate ourselves and our communities, we have collected educational, protective, and defensive resources on our website. We will continue to update them and are glad to share this information with our community and beyond.

As an initial step towards committing ourselves to change, we invite you to sign this letter in support of:

To our friends and colleagues:

For over a year, our diasporic Asian communities have experienced a surge of racially-motivated assaults—on the street, at work, at the market, on public transportation, and outside our homes. We’ve begged our parents to stay in, arranged to have their groceries delivered, and asked them to avoid eye contact with strangers. 

We are art workers, we are educators, we are journalists, we are immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, we are parents and the children of elders like those who’ve been cruelly attacked in recent viral videos. We are your colleagues, your neighbors, your friends. We’ve all wondered if our next tense encounter in public will turn violent because someone doesn’t like our skin color or facial features. We are exhausted, scared, grieving, and angry, and yet we persevere.

Stop DiscriminAsian (SDA) started as a small group of friends in New York and Los Angeles who were looking to each other for support after enduring anti-Asian attacks in March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group expanded to art workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago, and has since collaborated with other groups fighting racism, within the arts and beyond. Collectively, we descend from regions that include present-day China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, South and North Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

SDA seeks to grow an inclusive and supportive space for social, emotional, artistic, critical, and political discourse created during a time of fear, isolation, and compounded crises. We recognize that Asian American political organizing has often excluded South, West, and Central Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and has long been shaped by American imperialist brutality, Islamophobia, and colorism. True solidarity acknowledges that white body supremacy(1) and anti-Blackness have violent repercussions on all of us. SDA reiterates its commitment to move forward together in solidarity with all marginalized groups against white supremacy and xenophobia.

The mass murder in Atlanta is the culmination of the United States’ vicious history of racist misogyny and racial capitalism. The quick acceptance and regurgitation of the white killer’s defense—that he was attempting to “eliminate” sexual “temptation”—by the local sheriff’s office and national media outlets condones violence against women, particularly women of color. This country began with centuries of chattel slavery designed by white men, inseparable from their sexual assault of Black women. Subsequent abuses of enslaved, indentured, and immigrant women include the Page Act of 1875, which deliberately portrayed Asian women as prostitutes and banned migrants from "Oriental countries." The hypersexualized racism directed against women in various Asian countries systematized through the US's imperialist activities informs and shapes this form of bigotry today. Between 2012 and 2016, sting operations against massage parlors in New York City’s Chinese immigrant neighborhoods led to an 2,700% increase in arrests of Asian-identified people. Last year, 68% of reported anti-Asian hate crimes were aimed at women, and online, hatred against Asian women is rampant.

In an attempt to further educate ourselves and our communities, we have collected educational, protective, and defensive resources on our website. We will continue to update them and are glad to share this information with our community and beyond.

As an initial step towards committing ourselves to change, we invite you to sign this letter in support of:

At present, Stop DiscriminAsian is a small but mighty group with hopes of becoming a vibrant resource for Asians and Asian Americans working across the arts, at every level. We want to build a community where our collective experience, knowledge, skills, and talents can be used to uplift each other, and to ensure our visibility and our fearlessness in speaking up. We are here to amplify your voices. We are here to listen.

(1)
When we use the term “white supremacy” it is in acknowledgement of the ways that institutionalized racism and hatred exist within all of us. In America we are taught and shown again and again the privileges that white bodies have. We have embodied cultures of white supremacy, enabled them, and allowed them in unconscious and conscious ways to be enacted in our daily lives. American author, artist and psychotherapist Resmaa Menakem describes this as “white body supremacy."
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