Now one can blame the authors of the #stopasianhate movement for hijacking the #blacklivesmatter movement by demonstrations related to the recent Atlanta Georgia shootings. It is a well-known fact that the longevity of the #stopasianhate movement pales in comparison to the #blacklivesmatter movement. The #stopasianhate authors have elected to voice their opposition through recent demonstrations and political jockeying that are consistent with the long history of civil rights in this nation resulting in both the #defendblacklife and #blacklivesmatter movements.
According to Asian American for Equality, the efforts for “freedom” began in the streets of Chinatown in 1974. Moved to action by a developer who refused to hire Asian workers for the massive Confucius Plaza construction project, local activists raised their voices, staged months of protests and finally prevailed. In so doing, they created a powerful grassroots movement that has endured for four decades. Since that demonstration, Asians have benefited educationally, economically, politically, and by an increase in wealth through the establishment of businesses for which the Black community has not had the benefit.
The Black community has a long history of success for which the #StopAsianHate movement is hijacking from the #blacklivesmatter movement. The first African American movement that is consistent with the #Blacklivesmatter movement began in July 1917. According to Wikipedia, The Negro Silent Protest Parade, commonly known as the Silent Parade, was a silent march of about 10,000 African Americans along Fifth Avenue starting at 57th Street in New York City on July 28, 1917. The event was organized by the NAACP, church, and community leaders to protest violence directed towards African Americans, such as recent lynchings in Waco and Memphis. The parade was precipitated by the East St. Louis riots in May and July 1917 where at least 40 black people were killed by white mobs, in part touched off by a labor dispute where blacks were used for strike breaking.
As we fast forward, the #blacklivesmatter movement continues to demonstrate for the lives of Blacks. According to the Black Lives Matter website they were “founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
The #StopAsianHate movement is following the same pattern as the #Blacklivesmatter movement by insisting that reactions to the theory that the COVID-19 virus originated in Wuhan. Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based reporting centre for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, has received nearly 3,800 reports of anti-Asian racist attacks since March 2020. Of these, 68 percent were reported by women. In 2019, it received 2,600 reports of hate incidents.
The University of Iowa reports that Black Americans have a long history of being a target of hate crimes and violent acts because of their race. The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop and George Floyd highlight the inequality and racism faced by Black Americans, but also transphobia and misogynoir against Black women. For many, these killings shed light on the fears that Black people face regarding racial profiling, attacks, and killings based on the color of their skin. This history of injustice and suffering endured by the Black community dates back to slavery in this country.
The #stopAsianhate movement is detracting from the #blacklivesmatter movement. We know this because after the Atlanta shootings, hundreds gathered near the Georgia Capitol to demand justice for the victims of recent shootings and to denounce racism, xenophobia and misogyny. In Chicago, about 300 people gathered and in New York City, hundreds marched from Times Square to Chinatown.
While this article is not meant to detract from the needs of other human rights, it always seems to be at the expense of the Black community and our efforts towards a new freedom. It always seems that there is something more important than the advancement of the Black community which has to be related to the long-term hatred towards Blacks. The #stopasianhate is just another vehicle in a line of long-term distractions that results in detracting the continued necessity of the #Blacklivesmatter movement.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell