As published on Nov. 12, 2015.
In light of the recent protests in Missouri highlighting racial disparities within the University system, the Asian Student Association of Simmons College would like to express our support and solidarity with the Black students at the University of Missouri.
We also want to express our gratitude to the organizers of #ConcernedStudent1950 for setting the precedent for other institutions in the nation, to Jonathan Butler for compromising his body through the hunger strike, and to the Black members of the football team for their refusal to play.
We acknowledge the sacrifices that Black students have made for the rights of students of color. The resignation of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe was a major success, but Black bodies should not have to be put in harm’s way for colleges to be inclusive and supportive of all of their students. We thank Black student organizers at Mizzou for their work and commitment to fighting racial injustice. We also recognize that Black students should not stand alone in this fight.
The Asian Student Association at Simmons College is committed to fighting alongside Black students to create a safe space where students of color can thrive in our campuses.
We recognize that Asian students have been resoundingly silent amidst the calls for equity and justice. We will no longer stand by complacently in the face of blatant racism and violence experienced by the Black community. We must acknowledge that Asian Americans are subjected to systems of oppression.
These systems simultaneously disadvantage us and plant false privileges that manifest as anti-Blackness in our communities. Historically, this has made it difficult to build coalitions and fight for racial justice. The Asian community has historically benefited from the work of Black organizers and now it is our time to support them.
We urge Asian students across the nation to stand with Mizzou. We demand that Asian student organizations present statements of solidarity with the Black students at Mizzou. We encourage Asian students to wear black today, November 12, 2015, to show their solidarity with students at Mizzou and with Black students everywhere who are fighting against “administrative neglect, abuse of power, and a lack of adequate resources.”
The events at Mizzou are not isolated incidents of bigotry. They are symptoms of a greater systemic epidemic that plagues all of our institutions. It is imperative that we stand with Black student organizations and other students of color to support each other, build community, and demand an equitable learning experience where our lives are not at risk.
We call upon the Asian student body at Simmons College to stand in solidarity with Black students affected by racial injustice. We urge them to fight for safe spaces for students of color on this campus. Echoing the demands of the #ConcernedStudent1950, we hold Simmons College to the “Ten Demands” presented by the Black Student Organization to President Park in 1969.
The “Ten Demands,” stating the needs and concerns of students of color, are non-negotiable. The Asian Student Association at Simmons College calls for an immediate response from the college recognizing and addressing the needs of Black students at our institution.
To the students of color at Simmons, we, the Asian Student Association of Simmons College, will always stand with you in solidarity, fight for your concerns and issues, and provide you any support you need.
To the Black students at Mizzou, we, the Asian Student Association of Simmons College, stand with you in solidarity. To those who would threaten their sense of safety, the world is watching.