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If the past few months have shown us anything, it is that there is no going back to normal. Beyond the unimaginable thought of full subway trains and crowded restaurants and bars, our “normal” was horribly flawed.
Our “normal” meant accepting the hostility and racism against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as COVID-19 spread, a disease that is disproportionately affecting Black communities, who are also the targets of state-sponsored violence.
It’s time for a new normal. A new normal that must address anti-Asian hostility and anti-Black racism head on, especially as organizations seek to diversify and deepen their work around racial equity.
To do that, we must acknowledge the historical roots of anti-Asian racism in this country and how it has served the myth of white supremacy.
The demonization of Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic is part of a long history of discrimination and social shaming in the U.S.
The Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882, internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and labeling of Southeast Asians as terrorists post 9/11, are just a few reminders that anti-Asian hostility is long ingrained in America’s history.
We see the continuation of that rhetoric not just in the policies of the current presidential administration, but also with the model minority myth.
As conversations about racial equity have gained renewed traction, the reality is that anti-Blackness is still ingrained in the sector. Philanthropic institutions have made bold statements and committed to action to condemn anti-Asian racism and anti-Blackness.
But we know from the data available that AAPI communities receive just 0.2% of all U.S. grantmaking, and Black communities received just 1% in 2017.
If we are serious about creating a new normal, we must imagine and create a more holistic philanthropic approach that includes AAPI voices that aren’t at the expense of Black ones. One place to start is by increasing AAPI representation, especially at the leadership level.
Read the full article about AAPI inclusion in philanthropy by Stephanie Peng at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.