June 10, 2020
Joyce Lam (Chinese)
Lai Wa Wu (English)
We all Deserve to Breathe. CPA Stands with the Black struggle for Justice and Freedom
Justice for #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery
A Public Statement to our community from Chinese Progressive Association
The Chinese Progressive Association stands in solidarity with black communities fighting for justice and freedom. We demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others who have been killed by police and racist violence. Our hearts are broken for the families who will not see their children achieve their dreams or grow old, and for the children who will not grow up with their parents.
As Chinese immigrants, we know that racism and exploitation run deep in this country. For hundreds of years, our families were banned from immigrating to this country. Many of us have been turned away from good jobs because our English wasn’t good enough or have been told to go “back home” when we were born in this country and have worked to make this country our home. Before the pandemic, our community was already feeling unsafe and insecure, and over the last few months, we have seen the harm, violence, and pain of anti-Asian racism. Many of us have stood up against this and called to account those who seek to blame us for the pandemic. While we experience this fear in cycles that rise and fall, it is important to remember that Black people in this country live with the violence of racism daily.
Two weeks ago, George Floyd was killed by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Two months before George Floyd was killed, Breonna Taylor was murdered by Louisville police officers while sleeping in her own home. A month before Breonna Taylor was killed, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered while he was jogging in his own neighborhood by two white men who did not think that he belonged. These are just some of the names of Black people who have been murdered by the police or racists. The very people who are supposed to protect our communities have instead been the perpetrators of violence against Black people.
Across the country, and right here in our city, hundreds of thousands of people have marched in the streets to demand justice for George Floyd and the many Black people who have been killed and harmed by police violence. Their struggle and demand for justice is not just centuries old but recent and current. This past month, Asian, Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, and white people have joined thousands of Black people out in the streets in the midst of a pandemic to demand an end to the violence and oppression that targets our black community. We joined because Black lives are already at risk every day. We joined because Black or Chinese, all of us want good and healthy lives for our families.
Throughout this pandemic, many of us have been worried about Chinatown’s survival, the impact on our small businesses, and the community organizations that help our community thrive. Our communities have worked hard to build businesses that have struggled throughout this pandemic, and the recent damage has exacerbated fears. We do not condone the damage, and as Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us, “[this] is the language of the unheard.” While we work to rebuild our communities, we must also build and deepen our understanding and relationships with the Black community. We must understand how systemic and entrenched racism and our government has historically shifted blame onto the people, pitting us against each other and ultimately hurting all of us. We must understand that black people are asking people of all races, Chinese people included, to support demands for justice and equality that benefit all people.
We do not know what the future holds. What we do know is that Chinatown is resilient and that all of us deserve to live with dignity and respect. For hundreds of years, Chinatown has been our home and kept our communities safe. It has withstood fires and earthquakes. It will survive the pandemic, and it will survive this. For our people to survive, we must stay united in these times of crisis and make sure that our city addresses the underlying causes of inequities by investing in cross-racial community building, healing, and organizing, and build out community-driven crisis intervention services, holistic victim wrap-around and case management support. And we must continue to invest in our communities to ensure all of us have access to good schools, healthy and safe living conditions, and the opportunities to build good lives for ourselves and our families so that each of us can breathe and thrive.
About the Chinese Progressive Association:
Founded in 1972, the Chinese Progressive Association educates, organizes and empowers the low income and working class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people. CPA was founded on the values of solidarity with other working class communities of color, in particular the Black community. It was their leadership that led to the empowerment of Asian Americans and many of the gains we have today.
為 #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery 伸張正義
華人進步會支持正在為正義和自由而戰的黑人社區。我們要求為喬治·弗洛伊德（George Floyd）、泰勒（Breonna Taylor）、阿貝里（Ahmaud Arbery），和眾多死於警察和種族主義者暴力的人伸張正義。當想起那些將看不見自己孩子達成夢想或成家立室的家庭，及那些將不會在父母親呵護下成長的孩子，我們悲從中來，傷痛欲絕。