Thank you members and friends of InterfaithCincy for pouring your support to our open letter issued by our board chair Lee Wong, US Army (retired), with over 20 years of active-duty service (24/7) to the nation.
With nearly 90 advocacy groups and individuals from the region co-signing this letter, we stand in solidarity and with the resolve that together we say NO, loud and clear, to hate, to violence, and to racial discrimination and biases.
But that’s not enough. We must take actions to prevent the next tragedy from happening. While we can go through the routines and let ourselves be buried in the entanglement of processes and bureaucracies, we can take these actions to move forward:
1. Endorse this letter and condemn publicly the violence and microaggressions on Asian people.
2. Call for legislation to establish clear definitions of hate crimes towards Asian people. Current federal laws make it extremely difficult to define and prosecute a hate crime aimed towards Asian people in this country.
3. Call for tougher penalties on first-time violations of hate crimes. Many offenders walk free without any penalty.
4. Increase the visibility of Asian Americans in senior and top leadership in both the government and the private sectors.
5. Promote diversity, inclusion and awareness of Asian culture and history, especially the history of Asian immigrants and their contribution to this country. We offer webinars that talk specifically about the history of East Asian countries and business etiquettes. Please encourage your colleagues to join us.
As I reflect on the interfaith prayers at the vigil on March 21, let’s remember that Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Zen and the list goes on and on, all originated in Asia. Asia has so much to offer to the world. Asians have so much to offer to this country.
We all desire and deserve to be treated equally but we all try hard to be different and unique. That’s the beauty of the universe.
Let me dumb it down to simple math. If this is about white against people of color, we all lose. If this is about the European against the Asian, we all lose. If this is about one America against another America, we all lose. But if this is about humanity, civility and kindness against racism, sexism, bigotry and fascism, we all win. So pick the right battle. Fight the good fight.
Finally, here’s a hard one for my fellow Asian Americans. If you don’t invest in the community you live in, you get what you put in, which is NOTHING. So stop complaining about being marginalized and start investing in the community you live in.
Executive Director, Midwest USA Chinese Chamber of Commerce