Black-Asian solidarity in the wake of today’s racist events

After ESPN called Jeremy Lin a “chink” in an article headline and KPOP songwriter Jenny Hyun argued for genocide against black people, race scholar Dr. Sarah Jackson tweeted about things that blacks and Asians in the US share:

On the real though there is a lot of love and history between Black folks and Asian folks no matter what these individual a-holes do/say.

So I will now tweet some facts in the name of Afro-Asian love. #spreadlovenothate

Africa, the Middle East, and Asia had advanced trade and education networks among each other before they were ever “discovered.”

In the U.S. racist Asian characters were a common part of the minstrel shows (that popularized blackface) of the 1900s. #solidarity

The Black Press spoke out vocally against the interment of Japanese Americans during WWII. #solidarity

Asian Americans played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement. #solidarity

Rise of Bruce Lee inspired many black kids in inner cities to take up martial arts as form of self-improvement and self-defense. #solidarity

Richard Aoki a Japanese American was a founding member of the Black Panther Party, close friend of Bobby Seale & Huey Newton. #solidarity

I could go on. Even simply in pop culture there is a recognition of #solidarity between Afro-Asian culture: Wu Tang Clan, Afro Samurai, etc.

The feminizing of Asian men worked hand in hand w/ the criminalizing of African men in justifying the U.S. racial hierarchy. #solidarity

Asian women/black women hv been stereotyped as ever-willing sexual deviants 2 justify exploitation/colonization of their bodies. #solidarity

Model Minority stereotype has been used 2 control Asian people just as much as it’s used to denigrate black folk in comparison. #solidarity

Asian Americans were banned from eating at, going to school at, living in certain neighborhoods too, a photo:

Ok done. Love all day for Jeremy Lin & for anyone of any marginalized race/gender/sexuality who makes strides; your success is my success.

Follow Dr. Jackson on Twitter @sjjphd.

  1. Kim

    Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Andrew

    Great blog post! But, Jeremy Lin is Taiwanese American, so please include that as one of the tags.

    • Will do, haha. I still haven’t figured out a good way to navigate that minefield….

    • Takeo Wong

      The nationality or citizenship of family is Taiwanese. Ethnically, they are Chinese. That is, their ancestry, their bloodlines are Chinese.

      • Andrew

        I definitely understand that distinction, but do you hear any Americans saying “Well, I was born in the US, but technically we were once a British colony, so…”
        Taiwan has it’s own rich history and culture completely separate from China. I just think it’s time Taiwanese people started making sure the world recognizes this and being more proud and forthright about being Taiwanese.

  3. i think your point is very important and appreciated. both the espn anchor and the k-pop star deserve a public lashing. but i’m not quite sure why you you call out in a piece about afro-asian solidarity, you don’t call out two prominent african-american men, spike lee and jason whitlock, for their idiotic racist comments.

    • If I had tried to fit in every racist comment from the past week or so, it would have taken far too long. In any case, I believe the tweets were in response to those particular issues.

      • i’m not talking about every racist comment. i’m talking about…when the talk is about asian-african accord, when it is about that, and there’s a statement attributed to an asian personality, i don’t think it’s a stretch to say you should include both sides of it (even floyd mayweather, for example).

  4. x_yuan

    andrew: actually, jeremy has not tried to take definitive sides on the chinese vs. taiwanese debate, for example having stated: “I’m really proud of being Chinese, I’m really proud of my parents being from Taiwan.”

    and lin’s taiwanese uncle (from the nytimes article you cite) uses the patriarchal/misogynist view that one’s ancestry is patrilineal. lin has non-hoklo/non-taiwanese heritage from his maternal grandmother.

  5. Will Takamatsu Thompson

    Thank you, Dr. Jackson, for sharing this. It’s saddening and maddening the ignorant racism that some of us Asian Americans all too easily buy into, and it is absolutely vital for the light of day to be intensely shone upon these reprehensible undercurrents–particularly prevalent among our middle and upper strata. For example, we recently learned of a local coffee shop here in D-town , whose owner spews forth the same white supremacist hate against Mexicans and other Latinos–communities whose families are literally being torn asunder and devastated by the forces of hate especially across the Southwest and the South. And when the surface of anti-Latino racism is scratched here in the Southwest, one will find a torrent of anti-Black racism and anti-Native American racism too. All freedom loving Asian Americans of conscience oppose this and must step up the efforts within our communities to strengthen understanding and support of other oppressed and marginalized peoples. Thank you again.

  6. Will Takamatsu Thompson

    For some reason the link to the coffee shop I mentioned in my post above does not appear. Here it is: ( Thank you.

  7. Formerly enslaved also opposed the Chinese Exclusion, most notably Frederick Douglass.

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