By David Lin
I almost never write anything about politics. But in light of what has happened in Charlottesville, Va., I feel now is a good time to say this to you, because the enemy is more visible than ever before in our recent history. We need to support and become allies with other People of Color (POC), whites, and especially with our Black brothers and sisters. We have been too quiet for far too long. I know this does not pertain to all Asians, as some of you are doing good work already, but to those that are not, please read on.
The reason why our families immigrated to this country is the attraction that America provides stability and safety. Whether it be political, economic, cultural, religious, or just the shade of your skin, we came here and through blood and sweat, made it work. We made America our home. We are proud to call ourselves Americans.
That wouldn’t be possible if the legal and cultural infrastructure wasn’t already somewhat shaped by previous generations of Blacks and other POC. But I want to focus on our Black allies in this letter.
Please understand that they were brought here against their will and thrown into a land and system that, at the time, would be much worse than staying in their own ancestral lands to say the least.
Sadly for Native Americans, this is their ancestral land, which we as immigrants should also keep in our hearts and support.
“Not a Chinaman’s chance” was termed before the Chinese Exclusion Act, when many Chinese came here to build the railroads in the West. In order to clear paths through the mountains, they would lower a Chinese man down the side of a cliff in a basket. The man would then stick dynamite in drilled holes and light them, and if they couldn’t pull him back fast enough, he would get blown up.
After the usefulness of cheap Chinese labor was not needed anymore, they enacted laws to deport the Chinese that sacrificed so much, and to also keep new ones from coming. There is a side of America that many of you may not know. But thanks to Trump, that very ugly and disturbing side of America is showing itself. It has always been here, but fearful of rearing its ugly little head until now.
One of my Black friends, Dawn, said after Trump’s election, “David, the only good thing about Trump winning is all the racists will now show who they are.” She couldn’t have been more right.
Without giving you a history lesson, our Black ally not only survived slavery, but shaped policy and culture so that future generations of POC can enjoy this great country. Our Black ally sacrificed much to be in the front line of this war, which is still ongoing as you can see from the events in Charlottesville. For white supremacy and the age old infrastructure, Blacks are the face of the enemy. Being the face of the enemy, they bear a major brunt of the inequalities, which you can now see, in economics, education, and prisons. But yet, they fight. We must join them. Not just politically, but also economically.
I know we as Asians can endure much. How else did we make it this far? We have much too long been that model minority, just to fit in and don’t want any trouble. The only reason why we can even enjoy that luxury is because our Black ally has been holding the front. It would be in our best interest to support our Black Allies.