We are Leanna Sun and Karen Mai, and the article below is the last of a three-part series on resources for joining the movement for racial justice from home. Read part two here.
In the past couple of months, we have taken the time to reflect on our own privileges and how to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Coming from Asian families, we’ve realized that the idea of POC supporting each other in the fight against racism is ideal and expected; however, this is not the case currently. This is due to a history of white oppressors pitting minority groups against each other — the purpose behind the phrase “model minority” that is commonly attributed to the Asian community. As Asian Americans, we don’t face the same brutality that the Black community faces daily, but we have to try and educate ourselves in order to be an ally. We have attended webinars, donated, educated and marched in protests to support the movement. Through discussions with our friends and our personal experiences, we have compiled several social media accounts, organizations and tips if you’re looking to replicate our experience!
Back in June, I attended a peaceful protest in my area where I walked and marched for three hours. The march ended at a community center where everyone gathered. The entire experience was empowering. Walking alongside people who hold similar beliefs as you and are prompting change is inspirational, and in the moment, I was proud to stand with those around me. The variety of signs that were made were extremely touching yet frustrating to read. One sign that has stuck with me since that day read “Jim Crow still exists.” In the moment, I thought back to the very history class earlier that year where I learned, in depth, about the Jim Crow laws that ruled the South. Thinking about how those beliefs and racist feelings still exist was appalling. The diversity of the group and their passion about their beliefs demonstrated how it’s possible for people to come together and unite. Both what and whom I saw in front, behind and next to me was inspiring. This protest was very peaceful, and changed my perception of what protests are like. The media’s coverage of protests consists of fires, looting, violence and more, and while I realize that every protest is different, I recognize that peaceful or not, these protests are for a cause that I believe in.
[Leanna and Karen]
If you would like to attend local protests that are led and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, please be sure to maintain social distance and wear a mask. Remember the safety regulations that are in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Also, we’d recommend reading these two articles that we also referred to when learning how to be safe while fighting for the movement.
“Safety During Protest” from Amnesty International provides a quick overview of things to bring to a protest, how to prepare beforehand, what to do/not to do and what rights we have.
“How Dangerous Is It to Protest During a Pandemic?” from Rolling Stone includes expert opinions and facts about protesting amid the current global pandemic. Provided protesters take the correct precautions, protesting at an unprecedented time like this can still be safe, according to the experts in the article.
“Protesting Tips: What to Bring, How to Act, How to Stay Safe” from Wired is a more detailed version of the infographic mentioned above, going into more depth about our rights, along with how to prepare for a protest.
Contact Leanna Sun at leannaxsel ‘at’ gmail.com and Karen Mai at kmai4 ‘at’ boston k12.org.