What does Model Minority Mutiny demand?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014 16:31 Soya Jung, Race Files, A project of CHANGELAB

Like so many others who have taken to the streets, shown up and spoken out in solidarity, we at ChangeLab are grateful for the fertile political space that Black Lives Matter has created. As Vijay Prashad reminds us, Black Lives Matter “is more than a hashtag. It is a first principle. It contradicts the Crime Bills, the Welfare Reforms, the Wars on Drugs and Terror. It suggests that Life is more important than the confidence of capital markets.”


1. What are we learning in this moment?
2. As we struggle against our own oppression as Asian Americans, in what ways are we perpetuating white supremacy and anti-Black racism? How can we fight for our people, while also fighting anti-Black racism within our own communities?
3. Many Asian Americans are engaged in the immigrant rights movement. But what does it mean to push for citizenship or legalization when it doesn’t guarantee any value to Black lives? How does work on immigration policy reinforce ideas of criminality, of deserving v. undeserving communities? How can we reframe that work to also support demands for Black liberation?
4. How are our demands, messages, and efforts for justice excluding people in our own communities, by seeing some as deserving and others as undeserving? How can we hold those in our own communities who do harm accountable without supporting systems of mass incarceration?
5. We know that Black communities as a whole bear the brunt of state violence. In our own communities, are there those whose struggles we marginalize because of patriarchy, classism, heterosexism, transphobia, Islamophobia, and colorism? How can we change that?
6. Are there connections between the legacy of chattel slavery in America and the super-exploitation of certain workers today? What goals do they both serve? What are the differences?
7. How do we hold elected officials accountable when they promote the deeply racist policies of Broken Windows policing and gentrification? How do we build real political power to transform the system?
8. To what extent can abuses and injustices of policing and courts be reformed, and to what extent do we need to build towards deeper systemic changes? What would those deeper changes demand of us?
9. Are our expressions of solidarity reflected deep in our communities, or just at the grasstops leadership?
10. How much time and effort are we spending building power with community members who are not yet organized, especially those who bear the brunt of state violence in our communities?
11. The current momentum and energy is historic, but this kind of mobilizing is not sustainable long-term. How can we shift, recruit and train the people on the streets from mobilizing into sustained organizing?
12. What specific contributions can Asian Americans make to the project of Black liberation? Why is Black-Asian solidarity a strategic necessity? What can we accomplish together?

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