This has gotta be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on the internet
Black Panther Party and the Asian American Political Alliance
The very birth of the term Asian American came from a rejection of white supremacy, institutional racism and in full support of Black Power [via the Asian American Political Alliance, particularly in regards to the work being done by the Black Panthers]. We stood together. Some of us still stand together. We must stand together again.
I fucking love this gif.
I Wor Kuen 12 Point Platform and Program
I Wor Kuen (IWK) was a revolutionary collective formed in New York Chinatown in November 1969, composed of radical students, workers, and working class youth. Inspired by the Black Panther Party Survival Programs, IWK organized Serve the People programs in the Chinatown community, including door-to-door TB testing, draft counseling service for Asian youth, and childcare programs. They emphasized that the ultimate goal would be revolutionary seizure of state power by the working class and oppressed nationalities, and constantly worked to promote revolutionary education, organizing people to demand basic rights and services from the state.
In 1971, IWK merged with the Red Guard Party to form a nation-wide revolutionary organization, under the name I Work Kuen. Founded in San Francisco in 1967, the Red Guards were a militant organization with similar programs, primarily composed of Chinatown street youth and mentored by the Black Panthers.
The influence of the Black Panther Party is obvious in IWK’s 12 Point Platform, its adaptation of the BPP’s 10 Point Platform.
Sources: Fred Ho, “Fists for Revolution: The Revolutionary History of I Wor Kuen/League of Revolutionary Struggle” in Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America (AK Press, 2000). Image from Roots: An Asian American Reader (UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1971).
Vicci Wong, AAPA member, on the creation of the term “Asian American.”
The problematic terms “Asian-Pacific American” (APA) and “Asian Pacific Islander” (API) not only offer no recognition that Pacific Islanders already constitute a pan-ethnic group that is distinct from Asian Americans, they also efface Pacific political claims based on indigeneity. For example, indigenous Pacific Islanders who have ties to islands that were forcibly incorporated into the United States (Hawai`i, Guam, American Samoa) have outstanding sovereignty and land claims, based on international principles of self-determination, which get erased by the categorization with Asians. Hence the frameworks for understanding the ills affecting Pacific peoples and their political claims are shaped by imperialism and settler colonialism, not simply civil rights.
We need to uncouple “Asian” and “Pacific” in order to examine these concerns, especially in higher education, where the socio-economic profiles of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are severely distorted due to the continued problematic lumping with Asian Americans.” —
One of my favorite brief explanations of the importance of not using “APA,” “AAPI,” “API” or “APIA” or any other constellation of letters when Pacific Islanders are not included in the discussion, essay, scholarly work, etc.
Dr. J. Kehaulani Kauanui - Where are Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in Higher Education
An important reminder. Our communities are complex and we need to be able to talk about this in order to achieve justice for all.
In light of thingstaken and paying respect to the ongoing anti-colonial struggles of indigenous people, whose land we immigrants all live on as settlers in US colonization.
Published on Nov 27, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org - Two days after he interrupted a speech by President Obama, Ju Hong, an immigrant rights activist from South Korea, joins us to talk about how Obama’s immigration policies have torn apart his family. As Obama continued his campaign for comprehensive immigration reform with a speech in San Francisco, Hong interrupted him to call for an end to deportations. Obama then turned around to address him directly, and Hong continued talking, pleading for Obama to stop separating families through deportations. Those who placed Hong behind Obama during the speech may not have realized he is one of the most outspoken young immigrant activists in California. Hong has been arrested previously during immigration protests — most recently over the summer when he opposed the confirmation of former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as president of the University of California system. Hong is a member of ASPIRE - Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights Through Education. “I thought about my family, I thought about my personal struggle as undocumented, and I thought about my friends and my communities who have been deported and who are currently in detention centers,” Hong says about why he spoke out. “I felt I was compelled to tell the truth to President Obama that he has the ability stop the deportations for all.”
Kartar Dhillon (1915-2008), writer and political activist
Born to Sikh farmers in Simi Valley, California, her father was one of the first Punjabi immigrants to the US and was "at the forefront" of lumber industry strikes, organizing with Indian and white workers. Her family became founding members of the Ghadar Party, a non-sectarian, revolutionary movement for the liberation of India from the British, based in San Francisco and organized by Punjabi immigrant workers. One of the first female members of the party, Dhillon would remain an activist for human rights and social change her whole life, supporting the Black Panthers, participating in labor and working class organizing, and mentoring young artists and activists.
The president covered familiar talking points about immigration—until 24-year-old Ju Hong disrupted him.
[…]As he kept with the Thanksgiving and family dinner theme, Hong stood up, and began to question the president on his deportation record. Obama turned around and listened for a few seconds as more people joined in the disruption, screaming for the president to halt deportations. Obama’s administration has deported nearly two million people to date—a record for any president.
Speaking by phone to Colorlines directly after disrupting the speech, Hong explained that he took Obama’s words about being open to better ideas to heart. “He said he’s willing to listen to ideas, and here’s my idea: the president can use his executive power to halt the deportations of undocumented family members,” said Hong. “He has that power, but isn’t willing to use it.”
Hong was also upset that the president referenced Thanksgiving as a time when families can come together for dinner. “As a matter of fact, I cannot see my family this Thanksgiving because we’re separated—they’re in South Korea and I’m here and can’t leave because of my status,” he said. Hong added that he supports immigration reform, but that Obama has the power to halt deportations without legislation.
Ju was there as part of ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights Through Education), a San Francisco-based immigrant rights advocacy group.
Asian American Political Alliance showing support for the Black Panthers, Alameda County Courthouse Oakland, CA
Taken from “Black Panthers: 1968” by Howard L. Bingham
To certain outside viewers, Vietnamese in America may have become synonymous with flag-waving conservatism, embodying a reactionary and censorious nationalism couched in the rallying cries of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom.’ That’s definitely not me nor quite a few other Vietnamese Americans both young and old. But neither are we the conical-hatted, machine gun-slinging peasant warriors glorified in the lore of America’s left movement.
[However] there is a Vietnamese history in America — and a leftist history at that — going as far back as the 1940s national liberation struggles among émigrés in New York against French colonialism, to the 1960s anti-war activism of Vietnamese students and early immigrants. On July 2, 1972 in Los Angeles, the Union of Vietnamese in the United States was formed — the only group of Vietnamese in America to organize against the war.
Reclaiming our Vietnamese American history and identity has come to have a lot more meaning for me these days. It will mean, I think, careful and strategic organizing work within our communities. It will mean nurturing the youth and not antagonizing the elders. It will mean growing and struggling in the U.S. without forgetting to fight the imperialism that brought us here.” —Tram Quang Nguyen, "Caring for the Soul of Our Community: Youth and Activism Today," [excerpt], from Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment, edited by Steve Louie and Glenn Omatsu (2001).
Hello! It’s the Chinese traditional character (also used in Japanese, and in certain situations in Korean) for “east.” (I’m sorry if this is a super old ask, I’m a new admin just now looking through all our messages!)