Statement from the Board: Black Lives Matter

The Berkeley chapter of the JACL, the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization, is deeply disturbed by the most recent spate of killings and threats leveled at African Americans, most recently:

George Floyd, 46, Minneapolis, MN; Breonna Taylor, 26, Louisville KY; Ahmaud Arbery, 25, Brunswick GA.

More than any other minority group, African Americans continue to bear the burden of contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence. This is abhorrent to our founding principles of equal justice under the law, and it must end.

We re-affirm our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and will continue to speak out against, and resist, the ongoing attacks on the humanity of our African American fellow citizens, no matter who the perpetrator may be. We re-affirm that African Americans are our family members. Our friends. Colleagues. Neighbors. Political leaders. Classmates. That we share the same fiber of one community, and an attack on one is an attack on us all.

We agree wholeheartedly with the Organization of Chinese Americans, who stated:

“The fact that Hmong American Officer Tou Thao stood to defend his colleague, and antagonized the bystanders who called for compassion, is not lost upon us. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders must stand up for Black communities by calling out institutional racism and the anti-Blackness within our own communities.”

We will not rest so long as people of color in this country are singled out to be denied their full humanity and citizenship.