In addition to the massacre in Atlanta, yesterday was also the thirtieth anniversary of the murder of Latasha Harlins by Korean-America storeowner Soon Ja Du.
Asian American communities have, with some notable exceptions, been relatively quiet on issues of racial violence against other groups. Middle and upper class east asian communities have largely benefited from American racism, while low income and immigrant southeast Asian communities haven't been as fortunate.
The largest nationwide Asian-American protest movement in recent memory was a movement demanding that Peter Liang- a Chinese American NYPD officer- face no consequences for the murder of Akai Gurley, an unarmed Black man. Interestingly, this was not a movement of middle class Asian-Americans but was largely comprised of working class recent Chinese immigrants.
In response to the lack of attention surrounding the Antioch Police Department murder of Angelo Quinto, a Filipino American man, professor Daniel Phil Gonzales stated that their community's reluctance to act in solidarity with black struggles against racism had come back to bite them. If Asian Americans had been more involved in black struggles, he implied, they would undoubtedly receive more support when they inevitably became the targets of American racism.
The current wave of targeted attacks against Asian Americans could create a dynamic of solidarity between Black and Asian communities united in the fight against racism. However, the fact that nearly all of the most egregious attacks against Asians have been thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and prosecuted in the court system creates a situation where it is more likely that the american system will use its response to the attacks as a way to portray itself as a crusader against racism
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