Asian and Pacific Islanders for Black Lives (APIs4BlackLives-MN) is a coalition of Minnesota API individuals, organizations, businesses, and groups who are in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and Black Lives Matter St. Paul.
We are asking Asian and Pacific Islander (API) individuals, organizations, businesses, and groups in Minnesota to sign-on in support of this APIs4BlackLives solidarity statement and to commit to working to end anti-Blackness in our communities and to bring an end to the police state and police violence. Sign-on to our solidarity statement – bit.ly/SignOnJustice4Philando
As part of the Asian and Pacific Islander community we are calling for justice for Philando Castile, who was executed by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. This is not an exceptional or isolated moment. We remember the lives of Tycel Nelson, Philip Quinn, Abu Kassim Jelani, Fong Lee, Terrance Franklin, and Jamar Clark, all taken by Minnesota police. Recently, Cambodian American Map Kong was murdered by the Burnsville, Minnesota police in March of this year. We share in the fight against white supremacy and the police state and do not believe that justice will be obtained from a corrupt system.
We offer this statement to voice our solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all people demanding justice for Philando Castile and calling for an end to state sanctioned violence. We are in solidarity also with Diamond Reynolds and her young daughter, whose lives are forever changed by the tragedy and trauma of witnessing this murder. We recognize that as a collective community our struggles are connected and our fight and people power strengthened when we work in solidarity with each other. We assert that we will rise to action regardless of the race of the person who pulls the trigger as an agent of white supremacy and the police state. This fight is ours. The murder of Philando Castile demonstrates the failure of reform or representation through increasing the number of cops of color. As APIs in Minnesota, we demand an end to the police state and state-sanctioned violence.
With this statement, we call on Asian and Pacific Islander community members to come forward and demand #Justice4Philando by resisting state violence and police brutality alongside the Black community; to reject the complicity demanded of us by the “model minority” stereotype imposed by white supremacy. We call on API community members to visibly and vocally call out actions by the state that obstruct justice and protect guilty police officers. We know that video footage has not brought accountability, even when the evidence of murder is irrefutable. We understand that complicity and silence protects no one and endangers everyone.
As Asian Americans we recognize that some elders hold trauma which may prohibit them from taking on actions that “rock the boat.” We recognize some of our youth do not have the vocabulary and tools needed to understand and fight against institutional racism and we will continue to work with them and learn from them. We recognize, no matter what our generation, that the pain and struggle of Asian American people is often ignored and dismissed. Rather than participate in divide and conquer mentalities, we urge our people to act in solidarity against state sanctioned violence inflicted upon Black, Brown, and Indigenous people.
We call on our Asian and Pacific Islander communities to show up and speak up in solidarity to demand the end of the police state and state sanctioned violence directed at Black people. Our involvement is crucial to attain #Justice4Philando and all who have died at the hands of the police.
In solidarity and resistance,
APIs4BlackLives – MN Chapter
For other ways to be involved with APIs4BlackLives or BlackLivesMatter LIKE and follow Facebook Pages to keep updated:
- GoFundMe for Lavish (Diamond) Reynolds and Family
- GoFundMe for Philando Castile’s Family
Site to donate to help support BLM efforts with bail, legal support, and other supplies – http://www.payit2.com/collect-page/56349
More resources and information about recent API Activism in MN:
- On Police Abuse and BLM: Talking Asian to Asian in North Mpls Article
- Asian Activism in MN Video
- #APIs4BlackLives Minnesota Jamar Clark Solidarity Statement
Thank you for signing-on to our solidarity statement – bit.ly/SignOnJustice4Philando