Speech delivered at Stop Asian Hate Rally
in Scotch Plains, NJ on April 17
Hi Everyone, I am Karyne Brown, a current junior at Rutgers prep and a co- organizer of this rally.
Executive Order 9066, The Chinese Exclusion Act, yellow peril, The Rocks Spring Massacre, Vincent Chen, Covid-19, The Atlanta Spa Shooting. When I reflect on these various killings, laws, and events, I recognize that they are not isolated, but the result of systemic xenophobia and sinophobia fostered in America to uphold the ideologies of white supremacy, a virus that has terrorized people of color for far too long.
To many, the recent influx of anti-Asian violence and beliefs are a new idea, introduced by soaring headlines and false narratives surrounding the pandemic, but as I perceive, these events were inevitable. Historically, America, along with many other countries at the “top” of the societal food chain, have managed to elude any actions of accountability and continue to perpetuate a cycle of imperialist domination, scapegoating marginalized populations to take responsibility for any damage their colonization ensues.
The demonization of Asian people and culture continues to grow exponentially, and in America, the supremacist mindset is not hard to develop when the victims are stripped of their humanity. Racist rhetoric spewed by previous and current public figures attracts ignorance, and so when the basis of a privileged person's knowledge is to maintain superiority and evoke the idea of inferiority, entitlement breeds and leads to the tragedies we are here today to discuss. Political, social, and economic systems have all been put in place to inhibit Asian people from excelling in America, but yet, when they break the barriers placed on them, their work is invalidated with the justification of the model minority myth. Subconscious bias is prevalent within most of us, but everyday, it is our job to actively break out of the molds society expects us to conform to.
Humans Rights is not political. Protecting Asian Lives is not political. Stopping Asian Hate is not political. And so I thank you all gathered here today, dedicated to making a communal effort to address the calamitous state America is in, but more importantly, the suffering of so many Asian people. As it has been said before the COVID-virus is minute in comparison to the virus of racism. Our mission today, and everyday is to address issues that infringe on people's very existence and maintain long term discourse. Asian experiences are not a prop and the micro and macro- aggressions they are met with everyday will not go unsaid. The deaths of innocent Asian Americans will not be in vain.