Us Against the Problem

Posted: March 25, 2021

Stop AAPI Hate!


In Support of Asian Lives and Against White Supremacy

– Youth ALIVE! stands in solidarity with Asian American community members and organizations working to address the increase in violence and hate crimes targeting Asian American families and individuals. We echo the calls to dismantle white supremacy and stop Asian hate. We recognize the need to meaningfully address not only the recently publicized instances of Anti-Asian violence and hate crimes, but the centuries of Anti-Asian rhetoric, policies, and norms that have contributed to our society’s collective devaluation of Asian American lives and humanity.

The first step to dismantling the racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities is to acknowledge the diversity within and between these identities, composed of over 50 different ethnic groups and over 100 languages spoken among them. Treating or talking about all AAPI communities as if they are all the same is a failure to acknowledge the many different harms experienced by diverse AAPI communities – from the inter-generational impacts of colonization, war, mass incarceration, internment, and immigrant detention brought by the state, to the everyday harms of microaggressions in the workplace, in schools, and in popular culture. Understanding our diverse journeys and experiences is a necessary step toward fortifying the value of human life, especially for our most vulnerable community members – from the Latinx street vendors working to support their families, to the Asian American elders simply walking through Chinatown – we can no longer abide by a system that fails to recognize the full humanity of every individual and the value of every human life.

As an organization rooted in our diverse Oakland community, one that serves people directly affected by violence, we know firsthand the pain, anguish, and upheaval individuals experience after their community is impacted by violence. When violent incidents are not isolated events, but instead are part of a larger trend of racially motivated attacks, this adds compounding layers of fear, trauma, and anger that can prevent community members from being able to fully heal.

These experiences are unfortunately all too familiar to every person who has felt their skin color or appearance makes them a target for violence or harassment by police, white supremacists, or their fellow community members. We also want to acknowledge that even in “enlightened” spaces where there is an explicit commitment to uplifting people of color, Asian-Americans, and especially Asian-American woman, experience microaggressions that dismiss and demean their contributions. We commit to being stronger advocates, and never to be silent bystanders to behavior that adds to the toxic sickness we experience in a culture of white supremacy.

For these reasons, we refuse to engage in any narratives that pit communities of color against each other, and instead we insist that it must be all of us against the problem of white supremacy.

Historically, many AAPI individuals and organizations have uplifted and supported the movements of other oppressed minorities. From Yellow Peril supporting the Black Panthers to Yuri Kochiyama’s lifetime of activism in support of Malcolm X and other Black leaders, AAPI activists have long worked across racial lines to oppose white supremacy. We all must follow their example and recommit ourselves to collaboration and a shared goal. Treating racism as a public health issue means recognizing that people of every race need to heal from white supremacist structures, ideas, and practices that systematically dehumanize people of color.

To faithfully practice solidarity across communities of color, Youth ALIVE! recognizes, first of all, that we are not experts in serving or speaking for the Asian American community. But we are experts in serving victims of violence and helping people heal after harm happens. In holding this expertise, we feel a duty to offer our assistance and support to any Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders or organizations that could benefit from the lessons we’ve learned from our decades of serving victims of violence through our violence prevention, intervention, and healing practices and programs. In the past, we have relied heavily on the expertise of organizations rooted in the Asian American community, especially at times when our level of cultural relevance and community trust were insufficient in effectively serving our Asian American clients. In particular, we want to uplift our close partnership with EBAYC, an organization rooted in the San Antonio district that shares our goals to prevent violence and develop youth leaders. If you support Youth ALIVE!, please consider supporting them as well.

We have many partners doing incredibly valuable work and we reiterate our invitation to work together to treat the trauma of violence and racism as the public health crises they are. We know this moment demands nothing less.

          AAPI-serving organizations and resources: learn, act, donate

An Advocacy Opportunity to Prevent Violence:

California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) Grant Program

Because racism and violence are public health issues, our government must value health approaches to violence and violence prevention. Call Governor Newsom and ask him to invest in the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) Grant Program. A stronger investment in CalVIP would make it much easier for AAPI serving organizations to apply for funding to develop and run programs to keep their communities safe. Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, who represents the East Bay, has formally requested $114 million in the budget for violence prevention. Call Gov. Newsom and ask this request be fulfilled.

Call (916) 445-2841: “I’m calling to request the Governor fully fund the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program. The increases in violence we have seen across the state, especially against Asian American community members, demands the $114 million investment requested by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks.”