I wanted to share some thoughts about the racial reckoning facing our country and how CAA fits in. We are in a moment where real change is possible. This moment feels different in so many ways from other times in recent history. The people of this nation are coming together in sustained protests against the mainstreaming of white nationalism and the never-ending brutal murders of Black people that we know of and the many we don’t. COVID-19 has laid bare the disparities in communities of color, compelling us to reject “it is what it is.”  

As Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric fuels a rise in anti-Asian hate incidents, CAA — along with our partners at Stop AAPI Hate — tracks vital data on hate incidents and provides resources for those experiencing harrassment. Our coalition continues to urge elected officials and government agency heads at all levels to not just condemn, but to proactively respond to incidents of hate with dedicated staffing and funding. 

We have not stopped calling out the Trump administration’s racist demagoguery and policies that endanger the lives of our communities. Most importantly, we are a part of local and national ecosystems that are rising up to meet the unprecedented challenges facing us.  

We see, more clearly now than ever, that the systems that are meant to keep us safe do not. The abuse of power by police and by the racist prison system take the humanity — and the lives — of Black people. 

How can we demand justice for our Asian communities without demanding justice for other communities? This is why our work to end anti-Asian racism must be grounded in the movement to defend Black lives. Our fight to end systemic racism starts with moving away from counterproductive responses that criminalize to approaches that start with the holistic needs of our communities. What if we started with answering the question: What would make our communities healthier and improve our collective well-being? 

Here in San Francisco, we call upon the Mayor to immediately establish culturally competent victim/survivor services, coordinate intervention and prevention programs, and invest in restorative justice approaches.

When our founders created CAA more than 50 years ago, they were inspired by the Black Power movement to demand justice for our community and would ultimately strengthen our multiracial democracy. Today, we continue this historical fight to end structural racism in all its forms.  

Will you join us?

Sincerely,

Cynthia Choi
CAA Co-Executive Director