Dear Asian and Asian American community,
We see you. We hold space for all of the feelings of grief, anger, rage, and exhaustion that your community is experiencing. We mourn and grieve with you. We honor your ancestors and the lives that were taken too soon, violently and senselessly.
We see all the ways that mainstream media is complicit in racism, xenophobia, colorism, the fetishization of Asian women, and the violence that results from it. We recognize how the exotification and fetishization of Asian women, the model minority myth, “yellowface” in movies, tokenizing, and “yellow fever” seep into the public’s subconscious minds. We know that many moments have led up to this one, from colonialism and imperialism to the Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese American Internment and, more recently, hateful rhetoric blaming a global pandemic and economic shutdown on an entire race and community of people. We acknowledge how media tropes and false representation can lead to violence in the streets, in people’s workplaces, and within communities as a whole.
We take our role as a media literacy and social justice organization very seriously. We will continue to name the stereotypes and how they impact us on a personal, interpersonal, and systemic level. We will always call out the dominant narratives and assumptions that promote discrimination, fear of, and violence towards marginalized communities.
About-Face works to tell the hidden stories, to center and elevate the voices of those most impacted. We work to uplift the young people who are speaking out, making their voices heard and their presence known.
We know that the recent acts of violence are not isolated incidents, so our concern and intentions cannot themselves be isolated — and that any solidarity statement continues, into a lifelong commitment.
About-Face recommits to expanding our practices of allyship to your community, to our racial and social justice work, to dismantling systems of oppression that harm and brutalize us, and to reimagining and co-creating a world that is just, fair, and sustainable for all.
We have compiled a media-specific resource guide and posted a thorough analysis of how media impacts our everyday reality from the perspective of our current college interns.
We ask other allies to join us in these commitments we are making as individuals and as an organization.
With this, we acknowledge and sit with the reality that allyship is a lifelong commitment and that we must always come back to it, to revisit and deepen our practice in ways that most benefit the impacted communities.
- Challenge Your Biases
Especially the unconscious ones you’ve picked up from years of media consumption. Dismantle stereotypes and myths whenever you come across them, from the fetishization of Asian women to the model minority myth and “yellow fever.”
- Speak Up
If you see something, call it out. Don’t be a bystander. Record and document hate crimes whenever you have the opportunity. If you feel like you need training, there are many opportunities for this thanks to grassroots community efforts.
- Show Up
Show up to defend our most vulnerable relatives, from elders to youth and folks with disabilities.
- Stay Informed
Keep up with the news so that you can better look out for communities who are being targeted.
- Educate Yourself
Continue to educate yourself any chance you get, and follow social media accounts run by AAPI community members.
- Be Resourceful
Share resources for community members in need.
- Donate When You Can
Donate to AAPI organizations and efforts.
- Be Supportive
Support Asian businesses that have been deeply impacted by prejudice, unfounded fears, and attacks.