No More Asian Hate: Heal AAPI Generations

We have experienced the rise of racism, our AAPI families have felt the sudden surge of tragic Asian Hate crimes across the nation and in our local communities. In the past year, Stop AAPI Hate has reported over 3,800+ hate incidents, it’s expected where there are many more unreported hate crimes. Since the emergence of the pandemic, Asian-owned businesses have been devastated by vandalism and economic income shortfalls, as a result of fear and xenophobia.

As an Oregonian, first generation immigrant, and your first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) AFSCME Local 88 Vice President, we find ourselves fighting for justice and inclusion. I find myself moving through grief and forgiveness, silence and sadness, ancestral pain and generational blessings - a full range of emotions that calls and cries over a land and people to be equally valued in not what you can do but rather intrinsically valued in who they are in their identity, as part of the collective story to fulfill the multi-ethnic wholeness of what it means to be part of a multicultural community grounded in safety, trust, and belonging. It’s possible if we take every step in love, rallying together to heal our AAPI generations to eradicate Asian hate sentiment.

The construct of racial exclusionary acts are tethered to roots of racism and violence. As we heal as a people and restore our land, we first must condemn the following assertions of evil:

  • We vehemently condemn Anti-Asian violence and Anti-Pacific violence, and demand/call for an end to the acts of hate against our AAPI communities. 
  • We condemn manifestations of hate that attack safety and that degrade the intrinsic human value of our communities of color. 
  • We condemn the roots of racism that has pervasively entangled in our history and persist in our systems. 
  • We condemn Anti-Asian rhetoric and model minority myths that perpetuates othering. 
  • We condemn media messages that divide communities of color.

We stand in solidarity with our AAPI families that are grieving in Atlanta, Georgia and across the United States. Senseless acts of racism and assault do not have any place in our society. Now, we need you to rise to the times and respond to the tides of anti-racism.   

We invite you to join 23 million Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) as we chart pathways of honor, value, and visibility in our community by doing the following:

  • We invite you to believe AAPI mothers, sisters, daughters, and siblings.
  • We invite you to take action and protect AAPI elders in public spaces.
  • We invite you to shop Asian small businesses to sustain their livelihood.
  • We invite you to reject and refuse the model minority myth.
  • We invite you to care through prayer or warm thoughts to your AAPI neighbors.
  • We invite you to listen, learn, and lament to AAPI voices as we grow as anti-racists.

At AFSCME Local 88 in Multnomah County, Oregon, we fight for justice but we contend even more for love, an immeasurable vision where we are working together to promote equity to experience belonging, empowerment, and safety in our community. It’s a time where you can be an ally and support your AAPI colleagues in the midst of racism. We invite you to spread love and lean into building a racial justice solidarity movement that has spaces of healing and liberation for all. 

Raymond De Silva is AFSCME Local 88 VIce President and a Program Specialist with the Multnomah County Department of County Human Services.