We at Sahiyo wanted to purposefully create space to address the continued protests against police brutality in the United States and globally, and explicitly state that we stand in solidarity with the protesters fighting for black lives.
Many are coming forward to condemn the treatment of people of color. But we need to be clear in stating that it is black lives that we are focusing on right now. The U.S. has been built on and fueled by white supremacy and the active oppression of black people, enforced by the prison industrial system, the police and other agencies.
As an organization working with South Asian communities, we recognize that colorism and anti-blackness exists within our communities, as well. We have benefited from the model minority stereotype, but we must make a choice now – we can choose to buy into the model minority trope, and align ourselves with whiteness. Or we can address the colorism and anti-blackness in our own community, and step forward as allies to stand beside this country’s black communities.
The events of the past two weeks are happening at a time in which black Americans are getting consistently hit hardest by COVID-19, due to the structural inequality of the country, and the resulting high populations working in essential positions without access to proper healthcare, and a well-documented bias in the medical profession.
These are incredibly disturbing times and it can be difficult figuring out the best ways to support and take action. Educate yourself, go to a protest, speak up when you hear anti-blackness around you. Speak up without centering yourself or performing allyship for social capital. Take care of yourself and the people around you.
Of course, not everyone has the capacity to physically protest, especially during these already challenging pandemic times and the need to practice social-distancing to stay safe and healthy. There are a multitude of ways to still take action and show your support for racial equality and justice.
Donate to campaigns and organizations working to create structural change:
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Black Visions Collective
- Reclaim the Block
- Campaign Zero
- National bail funds
Watch in order to educate yourself on these issues:
- Eyes On The Prize documentary series
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
- Long Night’s Journey Into Day
- When They See Us
Read and share information with friends and family:
- How To Be An Ally in Fighting Racial Injustice
- APF Honors Black History Month
- The 1619 Project – The New York Times
- The Secret History of South Asian and African American Solidarity
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Biased by Jennifer Eberhardt
- How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
- Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black by bell hooks
- Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
These are only a handful of ways one can take action, but as a global community, we must do so, and we must ensure that all black lives matter. At Sahiyo, we are listening and we are here for the black community and all allies supporting change.
With love, solidarity and hope,
~ The Sahiyo Team