I went to the event - "APIs For Black Lives" (API is Asian & Pacific Islanders), a white American friend was involved in pulling organizers together for it.
The host, Julia Ho:
'As a first-generation Taiwanese American living in St. Louis, I've noticed other API folks who have been politically silent since the Ferguson uprising. Some people say that they know nothing about the situation or feel unaware of how these events affect them. Others feel unwelcome in conversations related to race. This group, APIs (Asian Pacific Islanders) for Black Lives STL, has been working in partnership with the St. Louis Chapter of Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA) and members from OBS to create a two hour event in which we invite the St. Louis community - and in particular Asian Americans - to have a conversation about where non-black minorities fit in the context of Ferguson, and how to work and live together better.
APIs for Black Lives is an event that honors Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month by uplifting histories of API and black communities united for justice. By sharing food, stories, and our connected and often erased histories of marginalization, activism, and solidarity, we hope to foster mutual understanding and develop solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.'
Part of one of the stories shared by one of the Chinese-Americans (she is going to study in Harvard University soon) struck me, kind of - when she was growing up, she was told by her mom not speak Mandarin on the street and don't invite friends for Chinese food... Now she thinks this is wrong. We can't pretend nothing happened and not talk about the matter.
I speak broken English, but I am still proud I can speak Malay, Mandarin and other dialects of Chinese. I didn't know how serious racial matters affected and suppressed those Chinese (or Asians) growing up here until I heard them.