graphic by: Kalaya’an Mendoza
GAPIMNY condemns the murder of George Floyd and stands in unyielding solidarity with the Minneapolis protesters who rise up in his memory. We also join those who argue that Floyd’s murderer, officer Derek Chauvin, is not just one bad cop in an otherwise redeemable system of policing, but further proof—like Darren Wilson, Daniel Pantaleo, Peter Liang and others before him—that the institution of policing in the United States is irredeemably anti-black and must be abolished.
Moreover, as Chauvin pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck, an Asian officer watched, feet away, refusing to intervene despite the pleas of bystanders. Just as we couldn’t ignore the role Peter Liang played in the murder of Akai Gurley in 2014, we cannot now ignore the role Tou Thao played in the murder of George Floyd. Asian Americans like Liang and Thao are all too often willing to serve as “junior partners” to white supremacy, to quote the afropessimist writer Frank Wilderson. Too many of us believe that doing so will provide us some small protection from white supremacy, some access to respect, belonging, and power in this country. But, as anti-Asian racism rises in the wake of COVID-19, Asians in the United States must recognize the obvious: we have always been disposable to white America. We must examine our complicity with white supremacy and anti-blackness, and we must realize that the only way forward for our communities is to wage the war for racial justice alongside black and brown people and against a criminal punishment system that is not broken, but rather working as designed to maintain the current racial order in this country.
As Asian Americans we know that we will not be free of racial oppression until black people are free; our liberation is bound up with theirs. We fight for George Floyd. We fight for Black women, as we #SayHerName, Breonna Taylor. And we fight against Black trans erasure, #TonyMcDade. As queer and trans Asian Americans we know that the police have always been an enemy to our people, that Stonewall was an anti-police riot, and that queer and trans liberation, too, is bound up with black liberation.
Our hearts to George Floyd and his family.
All power to the people of Minneapolis.
Black Lives Matter.