Dear Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Council President Lorena Gonzalez, and all Councilmembers,
Our city is in pain and in chaos. It will continue unless you stop the police violence and take the leadership to meet, listen, learn, and collaborate with Black community leaders and police department community reformers to fully serve your constituents.
As Asian Americans, we applaud the strong civil rights voices that called for justice for George Floyd and ending police violence. To better understand where we are coming from, know that: “…Our experiences of anti-Asian racism in this country are rooted in anti-Blackness and we cannot look away or stand on the sidelines of justice. We all have a responsibility, including Asian Americans, to end this pandemic of anti-Black racism, to actively affirm that Black Lives Matter.
George Floyd is Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald, Ahmaud Arbery, Christopher Whitfield, Kendra James… We are reminded, yet again, that our destinies and liberation are intertwined….” as well said by the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
Seattle has a strong history of demonstrations and rallies when the City leaders remain silent and stand idly by. We stand on the shoulders of the Four Amigos (Uncle Bob Santos, Bernie White Bear, Larry Gossett, and Roberto Maestas) for pan-Asian, people of color, and labor demonstrations and rallies that go beyond expressions of anger and frustration to constructive dialogue, mitigation and authentic, meaningful, effective reform.
We have witnessed countless protesters over the last several days violently beaten with batons, pepper sprayed, and tear gassed standing up for the rights of Black Americans, who have been suffering violence at the hands of police for longer than we can remember. It is now time for you to end the police violence. It is not the time to end federal oversight of the Seattle Police Department under the consent decree.
We urge you to take proactive steps to heal the pain and mistrust between the police and the Black community, and to work humbly with our Black community leaders and Community Police Commission to bring justice, healing and peace to Seattle.
As allies, we stand in support of our Black leaders and community members in their quest for justice and action.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s book title says it best “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” The answer is in your hands.
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, Seattle Chapter
Asian Pacific Directors Coalition
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together for Health
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, King County
Chinese Information Service Center
Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area
Friends of Little Saigon
Interim Community Development Association
International Community Health Services
Japanese American Citizens League, Seattle Chapter
Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation & Development Authority