Please stop the hate
“Stop the racism!” “Stop the violence!” “Stop the hate!”
Chants that are synonymous with the struggle of Blacks around the world.
Chants crystallised last year, during the global Black Lives Matter movement.
As of recently, another ethnic minority group has begun marching and becoming more vocal against racist mindsets, ideologies and acts of hate.
The only difference is that those gathering are not Blacks; they are Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, commonly known as AAPI. This term includes all people of Asian, Asian-American or Pacific Islander ancestry.
On March 18, there was a senseless, racially motivated attack in which six Asian women were murdered in Atlanta. All by a young White man, who walked away from three crime scenes alive and uninjured.
Less than a month later, a Black man viciously beat and kicked an elderly Asian lady on the streets of New York City. Even more chilling was that three men of colour stood by in their place of employment and did absolutely nothing to aid this elderly woman.
These are but a few brutal examples of outright racial hate
What we don't often hear about is all the other hate crimes thrown towards those of Asian ethnicity. Such as blaming them for Covid-19, sexual stereotypes of Asian females and a lack of inclusivity in professional circles.
As Black people, there is no denying the 500-year ordeal that we still have to contend with.
Blacks and other persons of colour are still suffering because of poverty, poor health, mass incarceration, lower educational opportunities and socioeconomic status.
Often, far too often, it allows us to fall into the trap that it is we alone that suffer racism.
This is simply not so.
For me, what was a wake-up call on this issue was something written by my sister, Kim. She spoke of having to deal with two sets of racism — that of racism against Blacks and that of racism against Asians.
“Telling you ‘in America, if you have one drop of Black blood, then you are Black’.”
“I decide who I am!”
“I am alive despite the traumas that ALL of my ancestors endured!!!”
“Whether they came here on slave ships, as a child bride or built the Panama Canal”
You see, my sister is multiracial, of Afro-Caribbean and Asian-Caribbean descent, genetically and culturally as Black as anyone in our family.
Without a doubt, she is more culturally aware than many others that I know. More often than not, in her ever subtle ways, she tutors me on a litany of historic points.
A woman who uses her voice to regularly stand up to New York city and state legislators. Many times coming to my defence during animated debates on social media.
So when I think of the possibility of her walking down the streets of New York and someone, anyone, potentially laying a hand on her or her two beautiful and talented daughters, having to endure hatred as multicultural children, it really bothers me.
There is the argument that when Blacks have had to march over the past few decades, we have for the most part been on our own.
There is no denying this.
However, in 2020, things seemed to have taken a turn. Persons of all colours seemed to have gotten the memo that Black Lives Matter.
In November 2020, persons of all colours voted someone who is anti-Asian out of office and voted for a woman who happens to be of Asian and African descent
A woman just like my siste,r Kim.
Not every Black person will have biracial Asian relatives. Yet many of us do.
For me, I have an aunt, a sister, a son, a daughter, two nieces, a granddaughter, a godson, all of whom look extremely similar to those Asian-Americans being attacked in America.
These are people who share the same Black genetics and cultural background as anyone in our family.
In life, I can answer only for me. Yet along the way, we must all speak up for those who suffer injustice.
They are our family, point blank.
• Christopher Famous is the Government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com