Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and the American people,
The Asian-American Civil Rights Movement is actively leading and empowering our struggles to end all racism, discrimination, and harassment, and to use the well-known "Lives Matter" term and add to that and say "Asian Lives Matter."
The truth is all of this extreme physical violence, hate crimes, racial discrimination, and racial harassment against innocent Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans throughout the United States have been going on for over a century. Only now it is finally receiving the much-needed and well-covered media and political attention. So we must unite now and capitalize on this moment. We need and must march in solidarity. We cannot wait or expect others to do this for us. We cannot stand idle, hoping and praying for things to change for the better in the future. We are in total control of our own lives and our own destiny. No one else can or should do this for us. Of course, they can certainly help and we surely want and welcome them to join our great movement. We will welcome and be glad for their much-needed assistance and supports, but all of us have to take the lead, commit, and take on strategically active roles.
Another important area of our vulnerable Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans population that has suffered significantly more, but we don't talk much about and is not being fairly recognized in the media, by politicians, or by the general American public, is Asian-American women. Whom for decades have endured, abused, and been harmed twofold via racism and sexism. They have been wrongly and unfairly stereotyped as weak, meek, subservient, sex objects, sex symbols, uneducated, and more. These stereotypes further reinforced and directed the mentality of how the abusers, harassers, and racists treated and viewed Asian-American women. These outrageous and egregious mentalities and physical violence against all Asian-American women and others need to cease immediately.
All of us should be supporting and celebrating women from all walks of life, not to discriminate or harass them. All Asian-American women should be treated with, looked at, and talked to, with respect and honor just like everyone else. No exceptions.
As with other great and contributing minority groups in this country, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans have been living in fear of hate crimes and have been facing racial discrimination and racial harassment for many decades, personally and professionally.
We need to do much more than just be having a conversation, reading headlines, or talking about it around the tables. For many years, we have done much more than enough scholarly studies and research on this subject. NO MORE STUDIES. Now, we need to and must take immediate, concrete, viable and actionable steps to eradicate all forms of hate crimes, racial discrimination, and racial harassment against all people, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, culture, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and others as is duly written in our United States Constitution and laws. We need to take immediate actions and to educate, not just talk. We need to rise up, to be very vocal, and to be passionate advocates. We need to constantly keep this important movement going and not slow down. This is our Asian-American Civil Rights Movement. What we need immediately, with the much-needed help of our law enforcement and prosecutors, is to strongly, fairly, and promptly enforce our existing hate crime laws, impose swift and just penalties, and have zero-tolerance of it. America should not and will not be the land of hate and discrimination of any kind. For so many decades, we have been egregiously, intentionally, and unfairly discriminated against and maliciously marginalized. NO MORE.
One of the main goals of our Asian-American Civil Rights Movement is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he said to wit in part: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” All of us should be treated as individuals and evaluated through a vigorous and unbiased process based on our personal merits and professional qualifications (via the content of our character, not through the color of our skin).
TEN (10) ACTIONABLE POINTS TOWARD ACHIEVING JUSTICE, DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND FREEDOM:
1) We need and must have Black, Brown, White, Asian (AAPI), and Native American solidarity. Unite, collaborate, partner, and speak out firmly as one voice, against and eliminate all forms of hate crimes, racial discrimination, and racial harassment. We are calling on all minority groups and all people to join us. America’s strength has always been justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and freedom. We should not and shall not allow racists and evils to dictate and determine who we are, where we work, and how we live our lives, or which direction we, as a united nation, are going.
2) We are sincerely calling on all of our political, elected, civic, business, and community leaders; companies and corporations; community, media, and faith-based organizations; Hollywood, entertainment and media professionals; federal, state and local law enforcement agencies; and all of us to unite, collaborate, partner, get involve and support this important Asian-American Civil Rights Movement.
3) This Asian-American Civil Rights Movement shall be and must be immediately and sufficiently financed, donated to, and duly funded by our federal, state, and local governments, by socially responsible (corporate social responsibility) companies, corporations, foundations, institutions, organizations, and of course, by the generous donations and supports from the general American public, and others.
4) We need to have our federal, state, and local governments to promptly, fairly, firmly, and fully enforce the current hate crime statutes throughout the United States. For our federal (FBI and others), state, and local law enforcement professionals to quickly arrest those perpetrators, and for our federal prosecutors from the United States Attorneys’ Office, the state and local prosecutors, to promptly prosecute those perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law. We are not asking for our law enforcement professionals and prosecutors to do anything more than to fully enforce the existing hate crime statutes. Justice must be done, with no exceptions. We fully support and respect all of our law enforcement professionals, our prosecutors, our defense attorneys, and our courts, along with the many federal and state hate crime statutes that were duly passed and signed into law. Our rule of law must be fairly and swiftly enforced and protected.
5) Public Private Partnership (P3). Collaborate and partner with various pertinent private and public agencies, institutions, companies, corporations, organizations, various government officials and legislative staff, educational leaders, legal experts, healthcare professionals (physical and mental health), and elected, business, civic and community leaders, in developing and implementing immediate, short-term, and long-term goals, viable, actionable, and concrete strategic solutions, legislative proposals, legislative amendments, policies and guidelines, etc. We are calling for the much-needed support, collaboration, and partnership with our federal, state, and local leaders, both public and private. Our elected, civic, business, and community leaders should be out there in various public forums speaking passionately against hate crimes, racial discrimination, and racial harassment, and set good and exemplary examples for all. Words do make a difference. Words matter. We should and will hold our elected leaders and officials duly accountable and responsible for their words, actions, and conducts.
We are also calling on all Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Native Americans, and others to actively calling, emailing, and contacting their elected federal, state, and local government leaders and officials demanding immediate changes. Moreover, to actively, using all forms of social media to raise awareness, advocacy, and support. To raise the much-needed funds in support of our Asian-American Civil Rights Movement. To educate the general American public and to take viable, united actions and advocacies in passionately helping, collaborating, and partnering with our common cause.
6) We need to properly and formally educate the general American public and others about hate crimes, racial discrimination, and racial harassment at all of our public and private schools, at colleges and universities, at the United States Armed Forces, at the United States government agencies (federal, state, and local), at companies and corporations, in Hollywood and at all of the media, at all the workplaces, and other public and private organizations and institutions. We are well-aware of all of the overt and covert workplace discrimination, racial discrimination, racial harassment, and extremely lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the upper-middle and top management/leadership that have been taking place for decades against Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans at the workplaces and at colleges and universities, and we are strongly and vigorously condemning them, those actions are reprehensible and un-American. Many Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans were and are not being viewed as the “right minority” for education, employment, promotion, advancement, and public and private contracting. We need and must be promoting and enforcing the zero-tolerance policy of all hate crimes, racial discrimination, and racial harassment, everywhere we live and work.
7) We need and must immediately be “Model Minority” nonconformists. We need and must immediately eliminate, reject, and abandon the harmful and racist “Model Minority” (a group that is smart, industrious, hardworking, obedience, quiet, and not allowed to have any voice nor express any opinion) myth and stereotype about Asian Americans which has been falsely and unjustly portrayed Asian Americans to the American mainstream for many decades. This “Model Minority” myth is actually and significantly hurting Asian Americans, not helping. Moreover, it wrongly and maliciously creating mistrusts and misunderstandings as a whole between us, and is falsely and egregiously pitting Asian Americans against other good minority groups. The model minority myth hurts us all.
As with other immigrants and minority groups, Asian Americans came to this great country, we work very hard, we achieve at school due to hours and hours of studying and learnings, we take great care of our families, neighbors, colleagues, and friends, and we always strive to achieve the American Dream. We take no short cuts of doing this. Nothing came easy for us, nothing was given to us, and we earned everything we got, through many years of blood, sweat and tears.
8) We, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are not foreigners and we are not outsiders. For many decades, we have been seen, viewed, and treated as “forever or perpetual foreigners” (a group that is apolitical, unassimilable, subhuman, and hostile threat). We are Americans just like everyone else. We are proud to be Americans. Many of our brothers and sisters have volunteered and fought bravely to defend America, and sadly many have also made the ultimate sacrifice so that we all can enjoy our freedom and our great American way of life. Asian Americans truly and significantly lead and helped to innovate, build, and contribute to make America one of the greatest nations on earth today, in science, space, civilian and military technologies, social media, medicine, health care, intellectual property, and so much more. America owes much of her greatness, powers, and strengths to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
9) We, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans truly want to be treated as equals just like anybody else. We do not want special or preferential treatment. We want to be a part of and contributing members of the team, not standing on the sidelines. We want to have full and rightful seats at the table. We want our voices to be heard, valued, and respected. We want justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and freedom. We want to be judged by the content of our character, not by the color of our skin, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had said. We want to be productive and law abiding members of our American society.
10) “Power and Strength in Numbers.” Our, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans true and real strength are in numbers. Collectively, we are about twelve (12) percent of the United States population strong, in solidarity across our many significant differences of race, national origin, color, creed, gender, language, culture, ethnicity, education, religion, sexual orientation, and more, is the basis of being Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans. We respect, appreciate, and value the differences and diversity among us. Moreover, our cultural differences and diversity are surely making us unique, much better, much stronger, and more successful than ever before, these are our true power and strength.
We need and must take charge forthwith. We are immediately and urgently calling on all Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans to unite as ONE, along with all of our Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans’ small and medium-sized businesses, organizations, and leaders throughout the United States and abroad to unite. All businesses, organizations, and leaders should and must immediately collaborate, support, network, and partner with each other for our mutual successes. We should and must inspire, lead, empower, encourage, and educate the young and future generations of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans to be successful and have compassion for others, and to be future passionate and advocacy leaders.
We all must unite as one, speaking as one loud and passionate voice. We all, as individuals, must fight together for our survival. We cannot be silent any longer. We must declare war on all hate crimes, racial discrimination, racial harassment, and healthcare disparity. We must immediately utilize the federal and states hate-crime statutes, along with the much-needed supports of our law enforcement and prosecutors to protect us and to defend us. They need and must immediately enforce the hate crimes statutes equally and fairly throughout the United States. We must do much more than what we are doing right now.
COVID-19 truly highlights the serious healthcare disparity and the need for better, quality, affordable, and accessible to healthcare (both physical and mental heath) for Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and other underrepresented minorities throughout the United States. We need to fix this serious and life-saving problems forthwith. Good education and quality healthcare should be our American Civil Rights. Recent reputable national studies and research have shown that there are direct evidence and data showing a clear and strong correlation/relationship between hate crimes victims (Asian Americans) and the significant increase and long lasting major physical and mental health problems including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Hate crimes directly affect and dictate their personal, social, and professional lives, and on how they live and work. Some are prisoners of their own home afraid and fear to venture out because of it.
Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans do have wonderful and rich histories, noble traditions, enviable values, and vibrant cultures. We are kind, honorable, loyal, tenacious, educated, heroic, resolute, industrious, hardworking, caring, hospitable, compassionate, devoted, dedicated, sincere, generous, and loving groups of people. We are very proud of these wonderful traits and our core values. We should continue to share these distinguishing characteristics and enviable qualities to mainstream Americans and others, because the more other people know and learn about us, about who we really are, about our personal stories, about our dedicated love for America and our many struggles, and our sincere love for our families, friends, colleagues and community. The American people and many others will surely have a much better understanding of who and what we are. Understandings lead to acceptance, harmony, peace, and love.
We should be proud of being Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans, and we should also be proud of being Americans. We can and should be proud of both. We are Asians and Americans (Asian Americans), this is who and what we are, this is our true, hard-earned, and hard-fought national identity. The bottom line is: We Are All Americans.
In recent years, we see more and more young very educated and passionate Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans (college and graduate students, and others) starting to volunteer at local community service organizations and volunteer/intern for mission-focused and mission-critical non-profit organizations such as the Asian-American National Committee, Inc. (AANC), along with being and/or becoming very valuable and passionate advocates. We are very proud of all of them for carrying the much-needed community service and advocacy torch. We need and must have this wonderful and very important community service, volunteering, and advocacy trends to continue and to increase significantly in the near future throughout the United States, directly due to the dire need for care, advocacy, protection, and service of our Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans communities and others. Let's continue to be an agent of change.
We need and must immediately give PRIORITY and place all of our personal, family, community, professional, business interests, along with the civil rights, healthcare rights, and human rights of all Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and Native Americans FIRST, until such time as we truly achieve justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and freedom in the United States.
The Asian-American National Committee, Inc. (AANC) is leading and empowering the Asian-American Civil Rights Movement along with our various elected, civic, business, and community leaders, national and international organizational, and corporate partners. As the AANC has been doing for the past 21 years successfully leading and vigorously advocating for the various federal and states hate crimes statutes and many other important civil rights statutes, which were duly passed into law and now need to be promptly enforced throughout the United States.
This may be our last stand to advocate for our Asian-American Civil Rights Movement and to defend our justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and freedom. Therefore, let’s unify and fight this fight for our survival together. Our lives, our family’s lives, and generations thereafter, are depending on our fight for today.
We should be proud and grateful of our wonderful and rich Asian heritage. OUR IDENTITY IS OUR SOUL. Let's embrace it. It will empower us to become much more than we could ever dreamed of. We need to “Make It Matter.” We need and must march in solidarity. Be an agent of change by joining us today. Thank you.
Tuan D. Nguyen, ALM
Founder, Chairman and CEO