The East Coast Asian American Students Union (ECAASU) condemns the xenophobic and racist flyers sent out in Edison, New Jersey targeting two Asian American candidates running for a local school board and stands in solidarity with the AAPI community in Edison. This attack is one of many targeting marginalized communities this past year.
An article from AAPI Data indicated that nearly half of residents in Edison are Asian. While, the quantitative representation of this community should not be used to define the humanity and value of this community, the hostile response to this growing immigrant community exemplifies how individuals benefiting from white supremacy try to instill fear in those who threaten the system. Communities from San Francisco, California to Johns Creek, Georgia with similar AAPI population makeups have even seen cases of “white flight” from their neighborhoods.
We must continue to resist xenophobic acts and acts that negatively target any marginalized community, from the attack of black students on campuses across the nation to the property damage of Muslim-owned stores. We must support the growing presence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who are engaging in the political process to make their communities more welcoming and equitable for all marginalized identities and who are working to undo the systems that continue to oppress marginalized communities.
This past Tuesday, the first Asian American woman, specifically Southeast Asian American woman, to be elected to Virginia House of Delegates, won a Republican-held seat with 61% of the votes. She is Kathy Tran, a refugee from Vietnam who fled to the United States when she was just two years old. According to AAPI DATA, over 30 AAPI candidates were newly elected or re-elected to the office, from state legislatures to city councils and school boards across the nation.
If the 2017 election is any indication, the AAPI electorate will continue to have an increasing impact on elections to come—including the 2018 midterms next year and then soon after, the 2020 presidential election. It is also important to acknowledge that voting should not be the only way we will fight back. Moreover, this fight is not over yet and we will not win this fight alone. Tuesday’s election night also brought historic wins for intersectional communities of color, women, queer, and trans people. It is inevitable that we should and will work together to fight back because our struggles are intersectional. The force of the system tries to intimidate us but we are here to stay and to win.
Here is what you can continue to do:
- Support candidates and get involved with grassroots community organizations who are working to undo current oppressive systems
- Learn more about the political system in your state and city
- Learn more about current policies, upcoming legislations, and important causes that are impacting your community
- Learn more about the current people in the office at your city and state level
Run solely by volunteers, The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to inspire, educate, and empower those interested in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues.