“We must work together to tackle anti-Asian racism in our communities and our workplaces,” says Yeon Park, SEIU 1021 VP of the East Bay
It has been heartbreaking to see the recent uptick in anti-Asian racism happening here in the Bay Area—and make no mistake, hate and racism are at the root of the violence we’ve seen in recent weeks.
Throughout history and up to today, the belief that in order for some of us to prosper, others have to suffer is often at the root of racism. As union members, however, we have a different vision. We know that racism, which divides us, is a tool that is deployed to keep us weak. One of the foundational beliefs of our union is that we are stronger together. That’s why we are committed to building a multi-racial movement of working people aimed at improving the lives of everyone—at work, at school, in our communities, and beyond.
We need local and state government leaders to fight racism through concrete policies that prioritize compassion, wellness, and the needs of people first, before profit for the wealthiest Americans. We can and should do more with our public resources to care for our elders, who are especially vulnerable both to the virus and to racial violence, and to keep our families healthy and thriving regardless of skin color, immigration status, gender, or how much money we have.
And we need to stand up for each other.
Recently, SEIU 1021 members participated in a national conference call on fighting anti-Asian Racism hosted by APALA (Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance). We shared our perspectives and experience on what it means to heal and feel safe in the current climate and brainstormed ways we could support each other on the ground.
APALA has put together this resource guide for us to get involved in fighting anti-Asian violence in our communities. We must look beyond increasing policing or criminalizing behaviors and instead center our work around building an interracial justice and solidarity movement against racism for all people. I hope you’ll join us.