There Will Not Be Healing or Solidarity Between Asian Americans and Black Americans Until We Acknowledge Our Mistakes
We Asian Americans need to build trust and show respect first.
I read Khadejah’s story, “Here’s Why The Relationship Between Black People And Asians is Complicated” and found myself thinking about it a lot. She raises several compelling points that I painfully acknowledge are true.
I kept thinking about her story and after leaving two comments, realized I still had more to say. So here I am writing my own story in response to the points she made.
What initially caught my eye, beyond the headline and subhead, was the large font, bolded statement:
Most Asians are just as bad, if not worse, than white people.
I think that’s largely true. Just because you’re a person of color doesn’t mean you’re a thoughtful, open-minded, anti-racist person. I have seen plenty of anti-Black racism from people of color.
Moreover, the pain of racism from another person of color may feel worse because we hope that such a person would be more sympathetic, having experienced racism themselves. Instead, it feels like being trampled on so they can say that at least they’re higher than you on the racial hierarchy even if that person will never achieve “whiteness.”
It starts from childhood, as you hear adults say things like, “You have to work hard and make sacrifices if you want to succeed.” What’s left unsaid, but implied, is that otherwise you’ll end up like those lazy Americans on welfare. We all “know” who is on welfare, the single Black mother with kids.
Except then we learn later that whites are the overwhelming majority of the people receiving welfare benefits to feed their families with food stamps/supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). Per the US Census Bureau, “The number of SNAP households who were headed by a white person was 75.8 percent in 2019, compared to 12.5 headed by a black person and 13.6 headed by a Hispanic person” and “In 2019, 12.3 percent of households receiving SNAP benefits were headed by a female without a spouse.” So it’s very few single Black moms actually.