Asians Demand Justice for Oscar Grant

By Guest Columnist Jan 12, 2009

The Asian American Community Demands Justice for Oscar Grant By Ryan Takemiya Monday, January 12, 2009 In light of the New Years Day murder of Oscar Grant it has become clear that we in the Asian American community can no longer pretend that we have nothing in common with the Black community. Our cultures may be different, our struggles may be different, and our places in the racial hierarchy of this country may be different, but one thing is clear: In the mind of a cop, we are all criminals. Whether we are Black, Asian, or Latino…whether we are men or women…whether we are young or old…If you are a person of color in these United States of America, then you can be shot at any moment. And it’s time that the Asian American community stand with the Black and Latino communities to show that while we may not understand what it was like to be enslaved in America, or to experience genocide in America, we do know what it’s like to have our innocent sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers murdered and shot down by police like animals, and we will not allow it to happen in any community. As a member of the Asian American community I stand with Oscar Grant and his family. I stand with the Black community of Oakland and Black people all over the country who experience police brutality every day. I do not claim to know what they go through, but here I stand, refusing to allow it, refusing to accept it. We, the Asian American community, demand the disarming of all Police, demand more citizen oversight of BART cops, demand the regulation of firearms, demand more money and resources be put into the poor neighborhoods of Oakland. We demand the arrest of Officer Mehserle, demand that he be charged with murder, demand that Ron Dellums apologize for his lack of leadership, and demand that he make up for it in deeds, not words. In addition, we demand that BART Police Chief Gary Gee resign from his position out of respect to the family of Oscar Grant. To allow something like this to happen under his watch and to be police chief during a massive cover-up of the murder should be a shame that he carries for the rest of his life. As a fellow Asian American, I am ashamed for his participation, and disgusted that he has not already stepped down amidst the controversy. The Asian American community should call for his resignation, effective immediately. We cannot allow one of our own to contribute to the power structure that inflicts violence on communities of color. We also realize that cooperation with and support of other people of color will help lead to self-reliance and independence from the system, and we extend a hand of trust and communion. Our communities have had a troubled past together, but let this be the experience that binds us together in solidarity. We stand and walk with the Black community in the memory of our family members who have been murdered by the police…In the memory of our brother Michael Cho, our brother Chonburi Xiong, our mother Cau Thi Bich Tran, our father Kuan Chung Kao, and most especially our young son Yong Xin Huang. May they all rest with Oscar Grant in eternal peace.