Understanding the Challenge

Anti-blackness and racial bias are common among Asian communities.

For many of our immigrant parents, success in the U.S. meant assimilation, conforming to Western languages and cultural norms. Many raise us with the hope that we, their children, will be more American than they are.

As a result, speaking out is difficult. Being apolitical feels safe. 

Having the Conversation

Understanding your family’s positionality and current viewpoints is critical for having a productive conversation. A common belief is that “you get what you want if you work hard enough for it.” As a result, underserved people and entire communities may be written off as lazy or careless.

It is important to deconstruct harmful beliefs in a way that doesn’t appear to discredit your family’s experiences. When discussing Black Lives Matter, it may be necessary to:

  • Remind them that BLM doesn’t undermine their own struggles or mean that other lives don’t matter.
  • Use feelings. Ask, “What would make you angry enough to protest and/or break things?” and build off of their responses.
  • Unpack harmful stereotypes about Asians, like the “model minority” and “perpetual foreigner” myths, that perpetuate racial bias in the U.S.
  • Utilize outside resources to educate and inform. Sometimes, it is difficult for parents to objectively listen to their own children.

Resources

Learning:

Actions:

Translations:

Updated 6/5/20.

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