#APIsResist: Our Stories Our Resistance
We're in an unprecedented time. We've seen a dizzying number of executive orders signed by the president, all of which affect our communities. This project seeks to amplify our solidarity with communities being attacked in the current executive orders and actions coming from the white house. Tell us why and how you resist as an API -- make a sign about any of the orders or actions happening, do what moves you. Submit your photo to lokyee[at]apano.org.
Optional: Do you have a story you want to tell as well? Submit it to us here!
This week's APIs Resisting:
"We are here because you were there.” I heard that once and it stuck with me because it captures a truth that I think is so often lost in discussions about migration and refugees. It’s so important to know our histories, and to understand the forces (imperialism, colonialism) that brought us to where we are today. Now that Vietnamese-Americans have been here for over 40 years, it’s easy to forget that the majority of the US population was not supportive of accepting Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s and 1980s. Luckily, the US government ignored the worst nativist impulses and accepted hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees—both because it helped feed the narrative of how awful Communism is, and also because at some level, politicians realized that after trying to “bomb Vietnam back to the stone age,” they had some responsibility for accepting the hundreds of thousands of refugees that resulted.
Today, I’m shocked and sickened that there is no sense of responsibility to the people whose lives are upended by the US multiple fronts of war. They are coming because we came to their country first. Accepting refugees is not an act of compassion, but simple fairness and justice.
During the Vietnam War, the threat was Communism, and they stoked people’s fears, calling the Soviet Union the "evil empire." They justified killing millions to prevent the spread of such an evil ideology. Today, it’s entire Muslim-majority countries and the Muslim faith itself that are labeled as evil. Both then and now, these dehumanizing labels and “othering” justified tremendous violence. As a Vietnamese American, I stand with the refugees and immigrants who come to the US to seek safety and better lives for their families. We, the migrants, the refugees-- are what makes America great.