I am never quite sure how to begin talking about anti-black racism among diasporic South Asians and Pacific Islander communities. After all, indigenous Fijians are essentially black. Many Indians brought to Fiji to work as indentured servants were also much darker-skinned, when compared to their Indian-born counterparts. While Indo-Fijians are often prejudiced against native Fijians, in part, due to years of white settler colonialism and supremacy, firangis have a harder time telling us apart from one another.

So not to take away from the fact that many Pacific Islanders and South Asians are often perceived as black in the U.S., anti-blackness in South Asian and Pacific Islander communities is real. This is a great resource authored by friends at Queer SAAN to start the conversation in our communities about anti-blackness: It Starts at Home: Confronting Anti-Blackness in South Asian Communities. While the criminal injustice system is not about to root out the daily violence that we are all subjected to, the revolution does start at home.

Additional resources

Prezi: Confronting Anti-Blackness in Asian/American Communities and Organizing

NBC: The Secret History of South Asian and Black Solidarity and BlackDesiSecretHistory

I Became So Exhausted With Proving My South Asian Identity That I Started to Ignore It

ChangeLab: Why Ferguson Matters to Asian Americans

Why Ferguson is Our Issue: A Letter to Muslim America

The Revolution Starts with My Thathi (Dad): Strategies for South Asians to Bring #BlackLivesMatter Home by Sasha W.

Victimization of the South Asian Community: Why Unjust Policing is Not Just a Black and White Issue

India Abroad: So That All Our Grandparents Walk Freely

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Asian Americans and Affirmative Action

Race still matters infographic AAAJ - for websiteAffirmative action is now the latest wedge issue in California to keep ethnic minorities from seeing our common interests.

In California, a bill to revive affirmative action is dead. Mainstream media reports convey that opposition from insurgent Asian Americans groups killed the measure at the last minute. If this is true, then there is much work to be done in Asian American communities about the benefits of affirmative action. 

However, it is more likely that the measure was primarily opposed by white voters, and an over-hyped loud minority of Asian American opposition became a convenient scapegoat for lawmakers. After all, more than 75 percent of Asian American support affirmative action programs. Even when Prop 209 was passed by overwhelmingly white voters, Asian Americans were scapegoated for supporting the repeal effort even though 61 percent of Asian Americans voted against the ban. The backlash against Asian-Americans for the latest affirmative action debacle is the same old “divide and conquer” strategy, and we must stop falling for it.

I support affirmative action. I have written at length about the need for affirmative action, as well as why it is constitutional. Contrary to myths, Asian Americans have been hurt by Prop. 209, and projected Asian-American enrollment rates have fallen as a result of Prop 209. Moreover, Asian-Americans do not lead single issue lives. Many Asian-American women and LGBT Asian-Americans directly benefit from affirmative action. 

We need to restore affirmative action in California, and we need to stop allowing the white majority to use the increased Asian American enrollment numbers as a way to defend a ban that only they support overwhelmingly. 

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Event: AAPIs and the Urgency for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Hosted by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP)-Washington, DC Chapter

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Cannon House Office Building Room 121
Washington, DC

Karen Narasaki – Executive Director, Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) – moderator

Prerna Lal – DREAMActivist.org founder, Change.org Blogger
Deepa Iyer – Executive Director, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Hemi Kim – DC Director,  National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Ben de Guzman – Policy Director, KAYA – Filipino Americans for Progress; Co-Programs Director, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), National Coordinator, National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE)

Congressional speakers
Congressman Mike Honda (confirmed for opening remarks)
Congresswoman Judy Chu

Campus Progress
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asians for Obama (SAFO)
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Asian American Justice Center (AAJC)
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE)
Immigration Equality

Special Thank Yous:
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC)

This is really the only reason that I am in DC besides work.

I have two needs:

1. More organizational sponsorships.

2. Someone to video “shoot” the event.


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