Xinqian“ Allison” 邱新倩
McPherson Square Rally Speech
Washington DC 3/21/2021
Good afternoon everyone,
my name is Allison, 我叫邱新倩, I live in Washington D.C. with my husband and two young kids.
As a Chinese American woman and mom of two Chinese American children, After the shooting in Atlanta happened, I had a “really bad day”. While I cried in my little safe space with fear, sadness, and anger, I found myself having trouble talking to my kids. I could not explain to them how a random guy who “had a bad day” could just carry a gun and went to three Asian SPAs to kill 8 people, among which 6 were Asian American working-class women, to “cure his sex addiction.” I could not tell them how fearful I was to imagine how Asian Fetishism could destroy my daughter, myself, and other girls, ladies, moms, and grandmoms in my AAPI community. I could not tell them how frightened I was when I saw the surging pain and fear our community had suffered in the past year, and the sad truth is that the situation is getting worse!
Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, despite worrying about the fatal coronavirus, the virus of Xephonobia, Racism, Sexism has been even more of a threat to my family and my community. Racial slurs such as “Kung Flu”, “China Virus”, and the horrifying hate crimes towards people who share the same skin color as us, made us feel unsafe. Some of my Asian American female friends had shared the same feeling as I had, that we were always on high-alert mode whenever we went out for grocery shopping or walking on the streets. That fear and insecurity have already deprived our fundamental right of feeling safe and secured! Asian American women, and frankly, EACH AND EVERYONE in this country, should NOT be in this high-alert stress, whenever and where ever we go outside of our house!
We gotta DO something to STOP it!
I shared my thoughts on social media with my friends and colleagues and parents in my kid’s school, I was FLOODED by almost a hundred pieces of feedback from our truly diverse communities. Their love, support, and compassion had not only cured my sorrow but also made me believe in our shared humanity. So I decided to speak up in public, so more people can be cured, encouraged and empowered!
Please, everyone who is listening to this speech, please do something to help out!
1. You can reach out to your AAPI friends who are in pain and sorrow, to offer help, support, or simply a text/email, to tell them they are loved and valued as a part of this country. Yes, any love and compassion would help!
2. You can participate in a rally, a march, a candlelight vigil, or anything that can express your feelings in public. Applaud to everyone who joined us today, you guys are all Unsung heroes!
3. You can donate to organizations like Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and many other grassroots advocacies, so they can continue to fight for us!
4. You can educate yourself and the people around you, on the legislative and systemic racism towards the AAPI communities over the past 150 years, and get empowered by how the AAPI pioneers fearlessly fought back in solidarity with other groups.
5. You can talk to the elected officials in your school district, city, county, state, your congressional representatives, write emails, make phone calls, schedule meetings, tell them how much you and your community had suffered!
Ask for more resources to the AAPI communities! this may include women’s self-defense courses; or safe walking projects for the elders.
Demand a change in the K-12 curriculum that contains discriminative narratives on the AAPI communities, reevaluate books, video clips, comics, cartoons, to remove all potential hate crime embeded materials from school library. so the root cause of the discrimination can be eradicated!
6. And the most important message is, ALWAYS show your compassion and support to the people that are suffering oppression due to the institutional injustice!
We must STAND IN SOLIDARITY with our sisters and brothers who are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Latino Americans, Indigenous Americans, Jewish Americans, other marginalized groups who had been the victims of white supremacy, alongside our white American allies who are willing to fight the battle with us!
If we STAND TOGETHER, we will STAY STRONGER!
We must STAND UP, we must SPEAK UP, we must FIGHT BACK, with our full energy and efforts, so when we get older, when our grandchildren asked how they would survive this brutal history, we can tell them in pride, that WE CAME, WE FOUGHT, and WE WON!!!
Thank you so much!
Xinqian “Allison” Qiu邱新倩
Ph.D. Candidate, American Studies, University of Maryland
Founding Member / Chair of the Culture and Heritage Committee, United Chinese Americans美国华人联合会