“We have eaten of America’s fear and hatred of blackness. It’s in the air we breathe. It’s what we’ve assimilated. Asians need to own this horror – own that our community has been complicit in the terrible toll on black America,” Jeff Yang, VP of Cultural Strategy at Sparks And Honey, tweeted after news of Philando Castile’s senseless death by the firearm of an Asian American officer reached the media.

Asian Americans are speaking out against police brutality and standing in solidarity with black Americans in the wake of the most recent string of police shootings involving trigger-happy, prejudice officers and innocent black men.

Young Asian Americans responded to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by putting together an open letter explaining #BlackLivesMatter to their traditionalist mothers, fathers, uncles, and aunties. Drafted by Christina Xu, the letter has already been translated into dozens of languages including Punjabi, Benagli, and Urdu. A new decentralized, crowdsourced collaboration of resources on anti-blackness called “Letters for Black Lives,” went live this afternoon and is meant to be a starting point for Asian youth to discuss these issues with their older relatives.

It is too easy for us to be pitted against black and brown people as the Model Minority or even to just ignore current problems and be safe in the bubble of college-educated, suburban, professional, safe America,” notes blogger Grace Hwang Lynch, “not realizing what we are quietly sacrificing for this ‘comfort.’”

Blogger Jenn Fang writes, “Do we choose a society where the lives of Black and Brown people — including Black and Brown Asian Americans — has value? Or, do we continue to uphold a system that places no value in the lives of non-White people, including our own; and wherein only some can place their trust in our law enforcement?”

Katie Zhu writes, “The work I believe in for this project is to listen, support, and amplify voices from #BlackLivesMatter, then channel that dialogue back for my own family. Starting with the Letter, I want to discuss these issues with my parents, reflect on our own position, and do what it takes to move society forward.

Silence is not an option.”

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