I was compelled to write about this issue this week, because it is something which holds our Asian communities behind. All of us Asians who are in some way in the game of Asian advocacy and empowerment have experienced roadblocks set forward by members of our own Asian community. But the question is why are there these roadblocks? And why is it that we are incapable of working in unison for the common cause, which is really to fight white supremacy and oppression? Well I think a logical reason is human nature, more specifically feelings of jealousy. The feeling of green with envy seriously sterilises any opportunities for Asians to work together cohesively. And mind you, this is not just relevant to Asians living in the West and in Europe, but it is also applicable to Asians living in Asia and who are also in the game of advocacy. I don’t think there really is a solution to overcome jealousy, but I guess it is more about us who know this to be aware of it and ensure we all do not get consumed by it.
The second reason I wish to address is back to the whole “gender” thing. It seems that there are certain groups of Asian male activists (predominantly online ones) who prefer to live in their own little toxic male enclaves and just bitch, whine, complain and make up stuff about the opposite gender. Last week, I compared these groups of Asian males to not being any different from white supremacists males/racist. Clearly they just exist in the cosmos to put down, bully and victimise Asian feminists every way they can. Many of them just talk trash like the little boy who cried wolf, and call out Asian feminists as sell outs, Anna Lu’s and “white men lovers”. The funny thing is, Asian feminists are their allies, but these Asian males treat them as enemies. I always wondered why these men do not direct their anger at white supremacy, because clearly this is the common enemy. Imagine, if they did and worked together with all of us Asian female activists/feminists, how much would we be able to achieve? Hopefully, if any of them read this post, this will act as some food for thought.
One of the biggest setbacks we have in Asian advocacy, is the intra-discrimination between Asian communities. It seems that different Asian groups consider themselves as superior to others and therefore “look down” or refuse to see the value of working in unison with other Asian communities due to misconceptions and racism. For example, I have seen members of the Chinese Australian community who refuse to work with the Indian Sub-Continent Australian community and vice versa. The reasons are extremely petty and it really came down to each community not realising that their fight is a common struggle as well as being heavily influenced by geopolitics. I have also seen Asian social media groups only considering “Sinoism” as the true Asian race and kicking out members who are from a non-Sino Asian background. I think this is the most pathetic thing ever, because it shows how narrow minded some of these Asian groups are to be that exclusive and not realising we are all the same, and we are all one Asian.
The other setback is that Asian communities are hesitant to work with other communities of colour. I think this situation varies from country to country. But I mention this knowing what happens in Australia. Asian communities in Australia specifically hardly support/work with other communities of colour, and this is because they again do not see the benefits as well as not having an understanding of intersectionality and the importance of fighting together. In Australia Asian communities fail miserably when it comes to working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups. And they do not realise that if our First Nations people do not have self-determination and equality, all other communities of colour are doomed. I am unsure of these experiences in other parts of the world, but I think the US does it much better than we do in Australia. Again, this is something we as Asian Australians need to work to change and we can’t just stay within our own groups and enclaves.
So my conclusion? Well plain and simple: We as Asians will never get close in the war against oppression and white supremacy unless we are willing to let bygones be bygones and work together as a unified and cohesive unit. It is all about crossing the floor for one another and supporting each other in this war. The sooner we realise this, the sooner we will be more equipped to continue the fight.