Brian Fung of the Washington Post reports on a completely new phenomenon that came to life this week when Christina Xu started a letter online to explain to Asian elders why the #BlackLivesMatter movement has relevance and importance for the Asian community, called for community input and acquired hundreds of collaborators in the space of just a few hours.
In fact, let’s draft letters in our native languages to our parents and our communities. Get it passed around WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, etc.
— Christina Xu (@xuhulk) July 7, 2016
Using social media tools and the Google Docs platform, Americans with origins from many Asian countries worked together all of Thursday to write an open letter explaining this matter to their families and today, collaborators remained busy translating the letter into, “at least 11 Asian languages, from Japanese to Vietnamese.”
They call it, “An Open Letter To Our Parents About Black Lives,” by Letters for Black Lives. The reason they’re doing this is contained in the text of the letter itself:
“Black activists fought to open up immigration for Asians in the 1960s … Black people have been beaten, jailed, even killed fighting for many of the rights that Asian Americans enjoy today. We owe them so much in return.”
Thursday night, Filipino Jose Antonio Vargas approached Xu to offer help. Vargas is the young lawyer, Pulitzer prize winner and, “founder of #EmergingUS, a journalism start-up focusing on race and immigration,” who is famous in immigrant rights circles for being the only bar-admitted attorney in the United States who is also an undocumented alien.
My own belief is that supporting other ethnic or social groups takes nothing away from us. And doing so may expand our horizons, our strengths and our capabilities. I’m very much looking forward to the results of Christina’s experiment in justice and education sitting squarely and unabashadely at the point where social media, technology and real-time collaboration converge: they can only be magnificent.
Sign up to receive updates about the Open Letter project.