Black and Asian communities are now leaning on one another after the increasing amount of assaults and murders on both minority groups, especially at the hands of whites.
Asians are showing support for protestors in Minnesota who are seeking justice in the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer during a traffic stop. The officer, Kim Potter, claimed she mistook her handgun for a Taser.
“People can pit our communities against each other, but the reality is that I’m out here organizing with Black organizers. The reality is many of us know this system is not built for you if you’re not a white person,” Asian American organizer Cindy Yang told NBC News.
Yang, along with Alfreda Daniels, former Brooklyn Center City Council candidate, have established an organization to aid the residents of Brooklyn Center, the suburban neighborhood in Minneapolis where Daunte Wright was killed and where the ongoing conflict between police and protestors take place.
Residents of Brooklyn Center, a known food desert in Minneapolis, have been subject to a shortage of food and essential resources due to the looting of over a dozen stores in the area.
Yang, Daniels, and a team of volunteers gathered to distribute scarce resources such as toiletries, diapers, and food products.
The mutual aid organization has also helped board up small businesses and relocate residents whose apartments have been infiltrated by tear gas.
Anthea Yu, founder and organizer of the AAPI Kokoro Project, has teamed up with other Black leaders to create a solidarity rally Sunday at George Floyd Square. The rally featured performances from local artists, and speeches from leaders of racial justice organizations such as Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and the NAACP.
Black and Asian organizers have been planning the unity rally since last month, during the mass shooting of eight people in Georgia, including six Asian women, by a white gunman. After the murder of Wright, the purpose of the rally changed to give support to the Black community.
“We’re trying to figure out how the two communities can make space for one another,” Yu told NBC News. “The Black community is grieving. The Asian community is grieving. It’s the product of white supremacy, just rippled out from our last leader.”
Bo Thao-Urabe, executive director of Organizers at the Coalition of Asian American Leaders who have been providing resources to the families of Brooklyn Center, told NBC that during the recent hate crimes against Asians, Black and brown organizers have shown solidarity with the Asian community. During the recent Georgia mass shooting, Black and brown organizers also assembled care packages for Asian women.
“This is a moment where we’re really pushing for the practice of solidarity and not just verbiage of solidarity,” said Thao-Urabe.