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COMMENTARY: #FirstThem Movement Highlights White Predators

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Producer Harvey Weinstein is currently fighting charges of sexual assault and recent documentaries have revisited decades-old allegations against singers R. Kelly and the late Michael Jackson.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The #MeToo movement began a little more than two years ago, and some of the most famous and powerful men – like Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Louis C.K. – have lost their high-profile jobs, or have seen their careers derailed.

Producer Harvey Weinstein is currently fighting charges of sexual assault and recent documentaries have revisited decades-old allegations against singers R. Kelly and the late Michael Jackson.

And while some, like Louis C.K., have made comebacks, Bill Cosby, who sits in prison serving a sentence of up to 10 years because of a previously settled and decades-old allegation, remains the only high-profile person jailed as a result of the movement.

And, according to many legal experts, Cosby’s conviction remains questionable at best, and a set-up at worst.

Now, a new movement is afoot that seeks to reveal that the #MeToo movement – a movement that was started by a black woman – has unfairly targeted black men.

The fledgling #FirstThem movement wants to ensure that those who are alleged to have committed sexual assault or abuse aren’t targeted just because they’re black – something those involved said is a major problem and counts as a serious injustice.

The founders of that movement, which has gained momentum on Twitter and other social media platforms, said they want to ensure that the focus will shine on white men and women who are accused instead of what they see as the lynching of those of color over unfounded allegations.

In one of many tweets, film producer and media personality Tariq Nasheed highlighted what he believes is one of the primary reasons for the #FirstThem movement.

“While the white media is trying to make any Black entertainer the face of sexual abuse, they are putting accused serial abusers like Charlie Sheen on magazine covers,” said Nasheed, a founder of the movement.

Nasheed, who couldn’t immediately be reached for a telephone interview, noted that Sheen has been accused of abusing women and exposing them to HIV.

“There is a wave of corporate sponsored movements that were created under the narrative of addressing sexual misconduct particularly within the entertainment industry. Many organizations behind these movements have racially tailored their agenda and our mission is to counter the racial targeting from these organizations,” Nasheed said in a post.

Nasheed readily acknowledges that sexual misconduct “is wrong on every level.”

“No group should be given a pass for sexual assault on their race,” he said. “So, get involved now and contribute to the #FirstThem movement so we can replace the system of racial privilege with a system of justice.”

Using the hashtag #FirstThem, one Twitter user noted that former Hollywood Producer Gary Goddard stands accused of sexual misconduct by 8 former child actors, yet his case hasn’t had the focus of Cosby or even R. Kelly, who recently was the subject of a scathing documentary about his alleged sexual assault of underage black girls.

In 2017, actor Anthony Edwards alleged that Goddard molested him and raped his best friend for a number of years beginning when they were just 12.

Goddard has denied the allegations.

In the case of R. Kelly and Jackson, Nasheed eagerly defends them, lambasting the media for its repeated coverage of those cases.

Another #FirstThem post noted that actor Rob Lowe “is still being glorified and getting gigs… I think it’s time to introduce him to #FirstThem,” the Twitter user Kobe Denzel wrote.

In 1988, Lowe was involved in a scandal over a videotape of him having sex with two females, one of whom was 16.

Lowe has claimed that he didn’t know that the girl was underage and later he cut a deal in which he agreed to perform 20 hours of community service.

While it’s not only celebrities called out for their alleged misdeeds, #FirstThem has listed a host of icons whose mideeds supporters of the movement believe the media and history have overlooked or forgotten.

Iggy Pop, the late David Bowie, Jimmy Paige, Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Jeff Beck, Alice Cooper, and football great Peyton Manning have drawn the attention of #FirstThem.

Singer Courtney Love was also among those mentioned by #FirstThem because she reportedly admitted to performing a sex act on singer/songwriter Ted Nugent when she was just 12.

“When I was a single man, I liked younger women,” Nugent told reporters last year, without directly addressing Love’s claims. “I haven’t had relations with underage women since I was underage,” said Nugent, a Republican supporter who performed at a number of President Donald Trump’s campaign events.

Trump himself has also been accused of sexual abuse by several women.

A recent article in the United Kingdom’s The Guardian, also touched on the allegations of Iggy Pop, Bowie, Paige, Jagger, Beck and Cooper.

The article noted that, in 2001, when the Mötley Crüe biography The Dirt was published, barely an eyebrow was raised at the debauchery described within.

Even one of the darkest tales, in which Nikki Sixx said he “pretty much” raped an intoxicated woman after he had sex with her in a cupboard and then sent Tommy Lee in to do the same, did little to damage Sixx’s reputation.

Dr. Rosemary Lucy Hill, from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Leeds, told the newspaper that the idea of a groupie is a complex one – citing the example of Pamela Des Barres, who claims she slept with Jagger, Page, Morrison and numerous others, and wrote five books about her experiences – an updated version of the most famous, I’m With the Band, hit stores again last year.

Lori Mattix (sometimes known as Maddox) told The Guardian that she was just 14 when she lost her virginity to Bowie. Her next lover was Jimmy Page, she said.

Though she recently acknowledged that the #MeToo movement she founded has appeared to have left Black women behind and that the message has been lost, Tarana Burke responded to the #FirstThem on Twitter to defend her stand.

“These #FirstThem folks are attacking me like I haven’t spent the greater part of my life in service for Black folks,” Burke wrote on Twitter. “There is not a bone in my body that hates Black men or that would intentionally target them for attack,” she said. “But we have to have a real conversation.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Activism

Chauvin Trial Shows Need for Broad Focus on Systemic Racism

Officer’s Conviction Necessary but Not Sufficient, Greenlining Institute Says

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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – In response to the announcement of the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin on all three counts in the killing of George Floyd, Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann released the following statement:
“Today we experienced a small measure of justice as Derek Chauvin was convicted and the killing of George Floyd was recognized as the criminal act it was. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that one conviction of one cop for a killing the whole world witnessed on video will change a fundamentally racist and dysfunctional system. The whole law enforcement system must be rethought and rebuilt from the ground up so that there are no more George Floyds, Daunte Wrights and Adam Toledos. But even that is just a start.
“Policing doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Systemic racism exists in policing because systemic racism exists in America. We must fundamentally uproot the disease of racism in our society and create a transformative path forward.”
To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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Activism

When I See George Floyd, I See an Asian American

 A modern-day lynching is specific and symbolic all at once. If you know Asian American history, then you know Asians in California, Chinese, and Filipino, were lynched in America.

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courtesy istock

You watching the trial of the now ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, the person I call the “knee man?”

   That’s what he was. Chauvin’s on trial for the murder of George Floyd, but I’m wondering how the defense is going to play this. Say that Chauvin’s knee acted independently? 

     The evidence is piling up. In Monday’s testimony, no less than the Minneapolis Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo said that Chauvin’s actions were in violation of “our principles and values that we have.” 

    In other words, the placing of the knee to the neck of Floyd, who was face down with hands cuffed behind his back, was “in no way, shape or form part of police policy or training.”

    If you’re a juror and hear the chief come down on Chauvin, how can you possibly not find the officer guilty?

   The defense has said it will focus on Floyd’s fentanyl drug use, presumably to link that as the real cause of death. But the prosecution on Monday brought out Dr. Bradford Langenfield, the Emergency Room doc who pronounced Floyd dead. He noted the length of time before Floyd got any breathing aid, and said Floyd’s death was more likely caused by asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen. 

     From the drugs or the knee?

     The defense will claim it wasn’t the knee, which at times was also on Floyd’s shoulder. Is that enough reasonable doubt? 

    Remember it was when Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck, not when he was walking around with drugs in his system, when Floyd said, “I can’t breathe.” 

   So far, the trial’s most compelling moment came when Darnella Frazier, the teenager who took the cell phone video we all have seen, recalled her trauma at witnessing of Floyd’s death.

     “When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black brother, I have Black friends. And I look at that and I look at how that could have been one of them,” Frazier said. “It’s been nights, I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more. And not physically interacting.”

     Van Jones on CNN said Frazier had witnessed a lynching.

   “When you have a lynching, which is what this was,” said Jones, “you aren’t just torturing the individual who you’re strangling to death, you’re torturing the whole community.”

     A modern-day lynching is specific and symbolic all at once. If you know Asian American history, then you know Asians in California, Chinese, and Filipino, were lynched in America.

As my friend Ishmael Reed told me on my amok.com vlog, don’t let the media play “divide and conquer.” This isn’t a Black vs. Asian thing.

All BIPOC are fighting a common foe.  All people of color have been under someone’s knee at some time in America. It’s our common ground, our shared past in America’s racist history.

That’s why to paraphrase Darnella Frazier, when I see George Floyd, I see an Asian American. And so should you.

Emil Guillermo is an award-winning Bay Area veteran journalist and commentator. See his vlog at www.amok.com 

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Activism

Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌Know‌ ‌Centuries‌ ‌of‌ ‌White‌ ‌Supremacy‌ ‌Too‌ ‌ ‌

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Vincent Chin, photo courtesy Wikipedia

I’m‌ ‌all‌ ‌for‌ ‌recycling.‌ ‌The‌ ‌good‌ ‌kind.‌ ‌Paper.‌ ‌Plastics.‌ ‌Just‌ ‌not‌ ‌the‌ ‌hate.‌ ‌

But‌ ‌what‌ ‌do‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌with‌ ‌us‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta?‌ ‌

It’s‌ ‌Vincent‌ ‌Chin,‌ ‌you‌ ‌know‌ ‌the‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌killed‌ ‌in‌ ‌Detroit‌ ‌in‌ ‌1982‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌baseball‌ ‌bat‌ ‌by‌ ‌
a‌ ‌white‌ ‌auto‌ ‌worker‌ ‌angry‌ ‌at‌ ‌Japanese‌ ‌imports‌ ‌taking‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌market.

But‌ ‌Chin‌ ‌was‌ ‌Chinese,‌ ‌not‌ ‌Japanese.‌ ‌Details.‌ ‌ ‌
That’s‌ ‌why‌ ‌I‌ ‌say‌ ‌Atlanta‌ ‌was‌ ‌Vincent‌ ‌Chin‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌names‌ ‌changed.‌ ‌
Soon‌ ‌Chung‌ ‌Park,‌ ‌74,‌ ‌worked‌ ‌at‌ ‌Gold‌ ‌spa.‌ ‌
Hyun‌ ‌Jung‌ ‌Grant,‌ ‌51,‌ ‌the‌ ‌single‌ ‌mother‌ ‌who‌ ‌worked‌ ‌at‌ ‌Gold‌ ‌Spa‌ ‌to‌ ‌support‌ ‌herself‌ ‌and‌ ‌her‌ ‌two‌ ‌
sons.‌ ‌
Suncha‌ ‌Kim,‌ ‌69,‌ ‌a‌ ‌Gold‌ ‌Spa‌ ‌worker.‌ ‌
Yong‌ ‌Ae‌ ‌Yue,‌ ‌63,‌ ‌a‌ ‌worker‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌Aromatherapy‌ ‌Spa.‌ ‌
Xiaojie‌ ‌Tan,‌ ‌49,‌ ‌the‌ ‌owner‌ ‌of‌ ‌Young’s‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Massage.‌ ‌
Daoyou‌ ‌Feng,‌ ‌44,‌ ‌an‌ ‌employee‌ ‌at‌ ‌Young’s‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Massage.‌ ‌
Those‌ ‌six‌ ‌names‌ ‌strike‌ ‌the‌ ‌discordant‌ ‌history‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌hateful‌ ‌treatment‌ ‌of‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌
country,‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Chinese‌ ‌Exclusion‌ ‌Act‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌19‌th‌‌ ‌Century‌ ‌to‌ ‌today.‌ ‌ ‌
Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌know‌ ‌hate‌ ‌and‌ ‌racism‌ ‌from‌ ‌their‌ ‌first‌ ‌day‌ ‌in‌ ‌America.‌ ‌
President‌ ‌Joe‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌recognized‌ ‌it.‌ ‌And‌ ‌now‌ ‌suddenly,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌has‌ ‌become‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌
pro-Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌presidents‌ ‌the‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌has‌ ‌seen‌ ‌since‌ ‌Reagan‌ ‌signed‌ ‌the‌ ‌bill‌ ‌giving‌ ‌Japanese‌ ‌
Americans‌ ‌redress.‌ ‌
Think‌ ‌about‌ ‌that.‌ ‌Did‌ ‌either‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Bushes,‌ ‌Clinton,‌ ‌or‌ ‌even‌ ‌Obama‌ ‌do‌ ‌anything‌ ‌that‌ ‌addressed‌ ‌
Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌existential‌ ‌angst‌ ‌like‌ ‌Biden?‌ ‌
One‌ ‌thing‌ ‌for‌ ‌sure,‌ ‌the‌ ‌last‌ ‌president‌ ‌was‌ ‌the‌ ‌absolute‌ ‌worst.‌ ‌He‌ ‌slurred‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌and‌ ‌
made‌ ‌us‌ ‌targets.‌ ‌
In‌ ‌contrast,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌has‌ ‌shined‌ ‌a‌ ‌light‌ ‌on‌ ‌us‌ ‌and‌ ‌made‌ ‌us‌ ‌visible.‌ ‌
He‌ ‌selected‌ ‌Vice‌ ‌President‌ ‌Kamala‌ ‌Harris,‌ ‌who‌ ‌is‌ ‌half‌ ‌South‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌of‌ ‌Indian‌ ‌descent.‌ ‌
As‌ ‌he‌ ‌began‌ ‌his‌ ‌presidency,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌signed‌ ‌an‌ ‌unusual‌ ‌executive‌ ‌order‌ ‌making‌ ‌sure‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌in‌ ‌
the‌ ‌country‌ ‌knew‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌attacks‌ ‌on‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌were‌ ‌wrong‌ ‌and‌ ‌“un-American.”‌ ‌
He‌ ‌came‌ ‌out‌ ‌strong‌ ‌for‌ ‌us‌ ‌in‌ ‌his‌ ‌first‌ ‌national‌ ‌television‌ ‌address‌ ‌a‌ ‌few‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌ago.‌ ‌
And‌ ‌then,‌ ‌after‌ ‌meeting‌ ‌with‌ ‌local‌ ‌AAPI‌ ‌leaders‌ ‌after‌ ‌last‌ ‌week’s‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌
once‌ ‌again‌ ‌elevated‌ ‌our‌ ‌status‌ ‌simply‌ ‌by‌ ‌showing‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌he‌ ‌has‌ ‌our‌ ‌backs.‌ ‌His‌ ‌remarks‌ ‌are‌ ‌
worth‌ ‌remembering‌ ‌because‌ ‌they‌ ‌put‌ ‌him‌ ‌on‌ ‌record,‌ ‌as‌ ‌he‌ ‌described‌ ‌the‌ ‌impact‌ ‌of‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌
administration‌ ‌rhetoric‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌AAPI‌ ‌community.‌ ‌
“It’s‌ ‌been‌ ‌a‌ ‌year‌ ‌of‌ ‌living‌ ‌in‌ ‌fear‌ ‌for‌ ‌their‌ ‌lives,”‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌said‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌AAPIs‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌country.‌ ‌“Hate‌ ‌
and‌ ‌violence‌ ‌often‌ ‌hide‌ ‌in‌ ‌plain‌ ‌sight‌ ‌and‌ ‌often‌ ‌are‌ ‌met‌ ‌with‌ ‌silence.‌ ‌That’s‌ ‌been‌ ‌true‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌
our‌ ‌history.‌ ‌and‌ ‌that‌ ‌has‌ ‌to‌ ‌change.‌ ‌
“Because‌ ‌our‌ ‌silence‌ ‌is‌ ‌complicity.‌ ‌We‌ ‌cannot‌ ‌be‌ ‌complicit.‌ ‌We‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌speak‌ ‌out.‌ ‌We‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌
act.‌ ‌For‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌good‌ ‌the‌ ‌laws‌ ‌can‌ ‌do,‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌change‌ ‌our‌ ‌hearts.‌ ‌
“Hate‌ ‌can‌ ‌have‌ ‌no‌ ‌safe‌ ‌harbor‌ ‌in‌ ‌America.‌ ‌It‌ ‌must‌ ‌stop.‌ ‌And‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌on‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌us,‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌us‌ ‌together,‌ ‌to‌ ‌
make‌ ‌it‌ ‌stop.”‌ ‌
Strong‌ ‌words,‌ ‌from‌ ‌no‌ ‌less‌ ‌than‌ ‌the‌ ‌president‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌United‌ ‌States.‌ ‌
It’s‌ ‌enough‌ ‌to‌ ‌unite‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans.‌ ‌Is‌ ‌our‌ ‌fear‌ ‌enough‌ ‌to‌ ‌unite‌ ‌a‌ ‌country?‌ ‌
Not‌ ‌with‌ ‌Republicans‌ ‌like‌ ‌Texas‌ ‌Congressman‌ ‌Chip‌ ‌Roy,‌ ‌who‌ ‌couldn’t‌ ‌find‌ ‌the‌ ‌empathy‌ ‌at‌ ‌last‌ ‌
week’s‌ ‌Judiciary‌ ‌Subcommittee‌ ‌hearing‌ ‌to‌ ‌change‌ ‌his‌ ‌heart‌ ‌and‌ ‌join‌ ‌in‌ ‌condemning‌ ‌the‌ ‌murder‌ ‌
of‌ ‌eight‌ ‌people‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta,‌ ‌six‌ ‌of‌ ‌whom‌ ‌were‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌women.‌ ‌
“My‌ ‌concern‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌hearing‌ ‌is‌ ‌that‌ ‌it‌ ‌seems‌ ‌to‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌venture‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌policing‌ ‌of‌ ‌rhetoric,”‌ ‌
said‌ ‌Roy,‌ ‌a‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌backer‌ ‌who‌ ‌was‌ ‌trying‌ ‌to‌ ‌defend‌ ‌the‌ ‌ex-president’s‌ ‌“China‌ ‌Virus”‌ ‌and‌ ‌“Kung‌ ‌
Flu”‌ ‌remarks.‌ ‌
Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌voters,‌ ‌a‌ ‌third‌ ‌of‌ ‌whom‌ ‌voted‌ ‌Republican‌ ‌for‌ ‌Trump,‌ ‌should‌ ‌remember‌ ‌this.‌ ‌The‌ ‌
Republicans‌ ‌who‌ ‌remain‌ ‌hell-bent‌ ‌on‌ ‌defending‌ ‌Trump’s‌ ‌big‌ ‌lie–that‌ ‌he‌ ‌won‌ ‌the‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
election–see‌ ‌“China‌ ‌Virus”‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌matter‌ ‌of‌ ‌Trump’s‌ ‌free‌ ‌speech.‌ ‌
And‌ ‌what‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌thousands‌ ‌of‌ ‌AAPIs‌ ‌victimized‌ ‌by‌ ‌his‌ ‌hateful‌ ‌turn‌ ‌of‌ ‌phrase?‌ ‌
Rep.‌ ‌Grace‌ ‌Meng‌ ‌(D-NY)‌ ‌let‌ ‌him‌ ‌have‌ ‌it.‌ ‌
“This‌ ‌hearing‌ ‌was‌ ‌to‌ ‌address‌ ‌the‌ ‌hurt‌ ‌and‌ ‌pain‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌community,‌ ‌and‌ ‌to‌ ‌find‌ ‌solutions,”‌ ‌Meng‌ ‌
said‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌rare‌ ‌show‌ ‌of‌ ‌emotion‌ ‌and‌ ‌passion.‌ ‌“We‌ ‌will‌ ‌not‌ ‌let‌ ‌you‌ ‌take‌ ‌our‌ ‌voice‌ ‌away‌ ‌from‌ ‌us.”‌ ‌
That’s‌ ‌where‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌today.‌ ‌
People‌ ‌are‌ ‌angry.‌ ‌And‌ ‌only‌ ‌the‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌truly‌ ‌seem‌ ‌interested,‌ ‌not‌ ‌just‌ ‌in‌ ‌stopping‌ ‌the‌ ‌hate‌ ‌but‌ ‌
in‌ ‌recognizing‌ ‌it.‌ ‌
This‌ ‌week,‌ ‌Meng‌ ‌and‌ ‌Sen.‌ ‌Mazie‌ ‌Hirono‌ ‌continued‌ ‌to‌ ‌campaign‌ ‌for‌ ‌their‌ ‌Covid‌ ‌Hate‌ ‌Crime‌ ‌Bill‌ ‌
that‌ ‌would‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌Justice‌ ‌Department‌ ‌conduct‌ ‌fast‌ ‌reviews‌ ‌of‌ ‌possible‌ ‌hate‌ ‌crime‌ ‌cases.‌ ‌This‌ ‌
was‌ ‌thought‌ ‌up‌ ‌long‌ ‌before‌ ‌the‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌would‌ ‌seem‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌perfect‌ ‌timing.‌ ‌The‌ ‌
the bill‌ ‌also‌ ‌sets‌ ‌up‌ ‌an‌ ‌online‌ ‌reporting‌ ‌system‌ ‌in‌ ‌different‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌languages‌ ‌that‌ ‌would‌ ‌stop‌ ‌the‌ ‌
undercounting‌ ‌of‌ ‌hate‌ ‌crimes‌ ‌and‌ ‌make‌ ‌it‌ ‌easy‌ ‌for‌ ‌AAPIs‌ ‌to‌ ‌report‌ ‌them.‌ ‌
Robert‌ ‌Aaron‌ ‌Long,‌ ‌21,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Atlanta‌ ‌shooting‌ ‌suspect,‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌charged‌ ‌with‌ ‌eight‌ ‌counts‌ ‌of‌ ‌
murder‌ ‌and‌ ‌one‌ ‌count‌ ‌of‌ ‌aggravated‌ ‌assault.‌ ‌Long‌ ‌has‌ ‌admitted‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌but‌ ‌told‌ ‌police‌ ‌
he‌ ‌was‌ ‌just‌ ‌a‌ ‌religious‌ ‌man‌ ‌battling‌ ‌‌ ‌sex‌ ‌addiction.‌ ‌The‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌Long‌ ‌told‌ ‌police,‌ ‌weren’t‌ ‌
racially‌ ‌motivated.‌ ‌
That’s‌ ‌what‌ ‌they‌ ‌all‌ ‌say.‌ ‌
Ronald‌ ‌Ebens,‌ ‌who‌ ‌killed‌ ‌Vincent‌ ‌Chin‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌baseball‌ ‌bat,‌ ‌said‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌thing.‌ ‌
Ebens‌ ‌did‌ ‌get‌ ‌off‌ ‌without‌ ‌spending‌ ‌time‌ ‌in‌ ‌jail.‌ ‌Long‌ ‌is‌ ‌being‌ ‌held‌ ‌without‌ ‌bail‌ ‌while‌ ‌the‌ ‌police‌ ‌
continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌investigate.‌ ‌
That‌ ‌does‌ ‌nothing‌ ‌for‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans,‌ ‌still‌ ‌grief-stricken‌ ‌and‌ ‌angry.‌ ‌Hate‌ ‌crime‌ ‌enhancements‌ ‌
could‌ ‌easily‌ ‌be‌ ‌applied‌ ‌if‌ ‌the‌ ‌new‌ ‌Georgia‌ ‌state‌ ‌hate‌ ‌crime‌ ‌statute‌ ‌that‌ ‌expands‌ ‌coverage‌ ‌to‌ ‌
include‌ ‌sex‌ ‌as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌race,‌ ‌is‌ ‌used.‌ ‌ ‌
But‌ ‌if‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌not‌ ‌forthcoming,‌ ‌it‌ ‌would‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌send‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌a‌ ‌harsh‌ ‌message‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌
real‌ ‌value‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌country.‌ ‌
It‌ ‌will‌ ‌also‌ ‌test‌ ‌the‌ ‌community’s‌ ‌strength‌ ‌and‌ ‌courage.‌ ‌What‌ ‌will‌ ‌our‌ ‌response‌ ‌be‌ ‌then?‌ ‌Will‌ ‌
others‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌BIPOC‌ ‌feel‌ ‌our‌ ‌pain,‌ ‌join‌ ‌us‌ ‌in‌ ‌alliance,‌ ‌and‌ ‌speak‌ ‌with‌ ‌one‌ ‌voice‌ ‌in‌ ‌unison‌ ‌against‌ ‌
these‌ ‌crimes?‌ ‌
Or‌ ‌will‌ ‌AAPI‌ ‌be‌ ‌left‌ ‌wondering‌ ‌how‌ ‌we‌ ‌get‌ ‌justice‌ ‌for‌ ‌our‌ ‌six‌ ‌sisters‌ ‌killed‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta?‌ ‌ ‌
Soon‌ ‌Chung‌ ‌Park.‌ ‌
Hyun‌ ‌Jung‌ ‌Grant.‌ ‌
Suncha‌ ‌Kim.‌ ‌
Yong‌ ‌Ae‌ ‌Yue.‌ ‌
Xiaojie‌ ‌Tan.‌ ‌
Daoyou‌ ‌Feng.‌ ‌
They‌ ‌are‌ ‌our‌ ‌dead,‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌sad‌ ‌narrative‌ ‌of‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌country‌ ‌since‌ ‌the‌ ‌
19th‌ ‌Century,‌ ‌the‌ ‌agonizing‌ ‌history‌ ‌of‌ ‌recycled‌ ‌hate.‌ ‌
Emil‌ ‌Guillermo‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌journalist‌ ‌and‌ ‌commentator.‌ ‌He’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌veteran‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌Area‌ ‌media‌ ‌person‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌
former‌ ‌host‌ ‌of‌ ‌NPR’s‌ ‌“All‌ ‌Things‌ ‌Considered.”‌ ‌Go‌ ‌to‌ ‌his‌ ‌blog‌ ‌at‌ ‌‌www.amok.com‌‌ ‌for‌ ‌an‌ ‌
interview‌ ‌with‌ ‌Oakland‌ ‌playwright‌ ‌Ishmael‌ ‌Reed‌ ‌about‌ ‌Reed’s‌ ‌new‌ ‌play‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌exploitation‌ ‌of‌ ‌
Jean-Michel‌ ‌Basquiat.‌ ‌ ‌

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