Hundreds come together to create a multi-lingual resource to talk about anti-Blackness and police violence.
Sometimes, believe it or not, the internet works together for good. That's what happened this week in the wake of news that yet another Black man, Philandro Castile, had been killed by police during a traffic stop in Minnesota, following the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by police officers in Louisiana.
On Thursday, hundreds of Asian American internet users came together and organized via Google Docs — YES, GOOGLE DOCS — to draft a crowdsourced open letter to our own Asian American families addressing the shootings Castile and Sterling and the urgent issues of the Black Lives Matter movement.
It can be difficult to find the words and contexts to talk about these issues with our Asian parents and relatives. Sometimes there are language barriers. Sometimes it's hard to explain the common ground in our struggles. Too often there's simply the impulse to ignore another community's struggles and look the other way.
The letter aims to help start that conversation. It began as a series of tweets from Christina Xu, who'd seen how Asian Americans had reacted negatively to previous police shootings of black Americans — particularly, the shooting of Akai Gurley in New York City — and wanted to do something proactive to change their perspectives.