As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, We Will Resist
We stand at a critical juncture in world history. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States represents a direct threat to millions of people’s safety and to the health of the planet. As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) committed to equality, inclusion, and justice, we pledge to resist any efforts by President-Elect Trump’s administration to target and exploit communities, to strip people of their fundamental rights and access to essential services, and to use rhetoric and policies that divide the American people and endanger the world.
Mr. Trump’s campaign used explicit racial appeals to win the support of disaffected white voters, promising to restore their economic and social standing by deporting millions of immigrants, building a wall, creating a Muslim registry, banning Muslim immigration, and punishing Black dissent. He also engaged in deeply misogynistic language and behavior throughout his campaign. He insulted all people of color; people with disabilities; and women – all of whom amount to the majority of America. In the global arena, he has signaled at a new nuclear arms race, promised to expand the use of torture, and disparaged the United Nations.
Since his election, Mr. Trump has chosen known white nationalists, corporate moguls, religious zealots, climate deniers, hawkish ex-generals, anti-Islam spokespersons, and anti-government crusaders to serve in his Administration. Right-wing extremists now dominate his party, which will control all three branches of the federal government and the majority of state legislatures, and are positioned to jeopardize the future of the Supreme Court for the next generation and beyond. Together this new realignment of forces seeks to turn back the clock on civil rights and environmental protections, to maximize corporate profits by privatizing the public sector, and to create a racially and culturally exclusive America.
This is not business as usual, and we will not engage in business-as-usual tactics and strategies.
As AAPIs, our lives are rooted in the long arc of U.S. history, which was born out of racial violence and has been shaped by the struggles for freedom of oppressed peoples domestically and internationally. Some of our ancestors first arrived in what is now the United States as subjects of European empire over 400 years ago. Some of us are indigenous to this country as our ancestors’ lands were occupied and colonized by the United States as they sought to expand their global military and economic power. In the centuries since, AAPIs have faced indentured servitude, exclusionary immigration laws, bars to citizenship and land ownership, mass deportation, mass incarceration, war, sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, vigilante violence, surveillance, and racial and religious profiling.
Today our movements include Southeast Asian refugees organizing to end criminalization and deportation; Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs and South Asians fighting surveillance, profiling, war, and hate violence; women reclaiming their bodies against trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation, and criminalization; low-wage workers standing up against wage theft, poor working conditions, and abusive employers; Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders building a generation to fight against generational poverty caused by loss of sovereignty, militarization of lands and people, forced displacement, and criminalization; and trans, gender-non-conforming, and queer people putting their bodies on the line to demand a different, more humane world. We have always fought injustice, and we are resolute to continue doing so.
The majority of AAPI voters rejected Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Indeed, while Mr. Trump won the Electoral College – a problematic system with its own deep history rooted in slavery and racial inequities – he lost the popular vote. And with only 58% of eligible voters casting ballots in this election, the vast majority of American voters did not vote to elect Mr. Trump. He and his Administration have no mandate to govern.
For all of these reasons, we commit to the following principles and ask all AAPIs to join us:
- We will center and stand up for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members who are likely to face increased levels of hate violence, targeting, and policing. We will center and uplift the experiences and calls to action of undocumented immigrants, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, refugees, women, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community members. We will also support the organizing and resistance strategies of AAPI groups and our allies closest to the ground in local communities.
- We will defend all targets of bigotry, repression, and hate made by Mr. Trump’s Administration, or caused by the Trump Effect, with a broad principle of solidarity: “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
- We will refuse to legitimate or normalize Mr. Trump’s Administration, which has already violated the core principles of American democracy by using explicit appeals to racial and religious bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny to gain political power. We will reject ideas, statements, and policies that strengthen the incoming Administration’s legitimacy, including divide-and-conquer tactics or strategies that position AAPIs as a racial wedge against other communities of color.
- We will reject any attempts by the Trump Administration to use AAPIs to make a case for their legitimacy and diversity, and will not compromise our values and agency to gain a “seat at the table” in pursuit of narrow benefits. Nor will we conflate marginal visibility for genuine power and influence for our communities.
- We agree to be transparent about our engagement with the Trump Administration, and to be held accountable for our organizational strategies and decisions.
- We will raise awareness about how AAPI communities are affected by discriminatory and divisive rhetoric and policies, and will stand firm in opposing them.
- We will support those who assume personal and organizational risk to defend democratic institutions and practices including human, civil, and constitutional rights, against unjust laws and actions by the government, any group, or individual.
- We will seek unity in pursuit of shared goals, knowing that defending democracy will require various kinds of movements and tactics to weather the coming period of increased repression, and to build a more humane and sustainable world.
- We will work tirelessly toward an inclusive and democratic vision that ensures the safety, self-determination, and wellbeing of all people, and we will model this in our resistance and solidarity efforts.
AAPI Feminism Workshop
Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL)
Alliance of South Asians Taking Action
API Equality – Northern California (APIENC)
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian American Millennials Unite
Asian American Organizing Project
Asian American Psychological Association
Asian American Resource Workshop
Asian American Student Union (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Asian American Studies, UC Davis
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles
Asian Americans United
Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, University of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Alameda Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Los Angeles Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – New Jersey Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Sacramento Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – San Diego Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – San Jose/San Mateo/Santa Clara Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Seattle Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Texas Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Washington, DC Chapter
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)
Asian Prisoner Support Committee
Asians for Black Lives (A4BL) — San Diego
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
Chinese for Affirmative Action
Chinese Progressive Association – San Francisco
Critical Filipinx Scholars Collective
DC Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus
Department of Asian American Studies, UC Davis
DRUM – Desis Risng Up & Moving
East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU)
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Filipino Advocates for Justice
Filipino American Democratic Club of New York
Freedom at Emory University
Hep Free Hawaii
Hepatitis Education Project
Hmong National Development
Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement
Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association
Jahajee Sisters Empowering Indo-Caribbean Women
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
Japanese American Citizens League – New York
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center
Korean Resource Center
Kuya Ate Mentorship Program
Midwest Asian American Students Union
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Philadelphia
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
National Organization for Women’s (NOW) Inaugural Virtual Chapter: Young Feminists and Allies
Penn Taiwanese Society, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia South Asian Collective
Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro)
Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA)
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
REACH! Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
SHK Global Health
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Spice Collective, University of Pennsylvania
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Southeast Asian Coalition
Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN)
Stanford Asian American Activism Committee
UPenn Asian Pacific Student Coalition
UXO Clearance Laos
VietUnity – Bay Area
VietUnity – Los Angeles
Wakefield Asian Club, Arlington, Virginia
Yale Asian American Studies Task Force