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The Black, Asian and Latino experiences are not the same, so don’t lump us together

As I watch unaccompanied minors cross the border in search of a better life, I feel for their parents. How hard is it to send your child all alone, knowing that they have a better chance without you than they do with you at their side?

How hard is it for the Asian community to look at the attacks taking place against their elderly and their women, knowing that it’s happening because of their race? In truth, I can only imagine their pain, but I don’t know what it is to be Asian or Latino, and they don’t know what it is to be Black.

That’s why it’s so hard for me to accept the umbrella label we’ve been given–people of color. That label doesn’t make us the same. It just means we aren’t white. So, it’s hard for me to be consumed with what’s happening on the border when Black people are being killed on the streets, in their homes, and even in police custody. It’s hard for me to be consumed with what’s happening in Atlanta when I’m nervous every time my kids walk out the door in Philly.

This is not to say I don’t care. I do. But while I’m caring, I can’t pretend that we share the same history, because we don’t. When laws were on the books to keep Blacks and whites from marrying, a Latino named Desi Arnez was on TV married to a white actress. When Blacks were still being called animals, Asians were being hailed as model minorities.

So, here’s what we have to do. We must acknowledge our differences. We must find our commonalities, we must form real relationships based on mutual interests and respect, and then we must fight to make all of us safe from the racism that’s killing our people. That won’t mean we have the same experience. But it will give us all a common goal.
Photo: Stop Asian  Hate By. Victoria Pickering

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