Joint AAPI Statement to Resist the Trump Administration

As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, We Will Resist. We stand at a critical juncture in world history. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States represents a direct threat to millions of people’s safety and to the health of the planet. As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) committed to equality, inclusion, and justice, we pledge to resist any efforts by President-Elect Trump’s administration to target and exploit communities, to strip people of their fundamental rights and access to essential services, and to use rhetoric and policies that divide the American people and endanger the world.

Mr. Trump’s campaign used explicit racial appeals to win the support of disaffected white voters, promising to restore their economic and social standing by deporting millions of immigrants, building a wall, creating a Muslim registry, banning Muslim immigration, and punishing Black dissent. He also engaged in deeply misogynistic language and behavior throughout his campaign. He insulted all people of color; people with disabilities; and women – all of whom amount to the majority of America. In the global arena, he has signaled at a new nuclear arms race, promised to expand the use of torture, and disparaged the United Nations.

Since his election, Mr. Trump has chosen known white nationalists, corporate moguls, religious zealots, climate deniers, hawkish ex-generals, anti-Islam spokespersons, and anti-government crusaders to serve in his Administration. Right-wing extremists now dominate his party, which will control all three branches of the federal government and the majority of state legislatures, and are positioned to jeopardize the future of the Supreme Court for the next generation and beyond. Together this new realignment of forces seeks to turn back the clock on civil rights and environmental protections, to maximize corporate profits by privatizing the public sector, and to create a racially and culturally exclusive America.

This is not business as usual, and we will not engage in business-as-usual tactics and strategies.

As AAPIs, our lives are rooted in the long arc of U.S. history, which was born out of racial violence and has been shaped by the struggles for freedom of oppressed peoples domestically and internationally. Some of our ancestors first arrived in what is now the United States as subjects of European empire over 400 years ago. Some of us are indigenous to this country as our ancestors’ lands were occupied and colonized by the United States as they sought to expand their global military and economic power. In the centuries since, AAPIs have faced indentured servitude, exclusionary immigration laws, bars to citizenship and land ownership, mass deportation, mass incarceration, war, sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, vigilante violence, surveillance, and racial and religious profiling.

Today our movements include Southeast Asian refugees organizing to end criminalization and deportation; Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs and South Asians fighting surveillance, profiling, war, and hate violence; women reclaiming their bodies against trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation, and criminalization; low-wage workers standing up against wage theft, poor working conditions, and abusive employers; Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders building a generation to fight against generational poverty caused by loss of sovereignty, militarization of lands and people, forced displacement, and criminalization; and trans, gender-non-conforming, and queer people putting their bodies on the line to demand a different, more humane world. We have always fought injustice, and we are resolute to continue doing so.

The majority of AAPI voters rejected Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Indeed, while Mr. Trump won the Electoral College – a problematic system with its own deep history rooted in slavery and racial inequities – he lost the popular vote.  And with only 58% of eligible voters casting ballots in this election, the vast majority of American voters did not vote to elect Mr. Trump. He and his Administration have no mandate to govern.

For all of these reasons, we commit to the following principles and ask all AAPIs to join us:

  • We will center and stand up for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members who are likely to face increased levels of hate violence, targeting, and policing. We will center and uplift the experiences and calls to action of undocumented immigrants, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, refugees, women, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community members. We will also support the organizing and resistance strategies of AAPI groups and our allies closest to the ground in local communities.
  • We will defend all targets of bigotry, repression, and hate made by Mr. Trump’s Administration, or caused by the Trump Effect, with a broad principle of solidarity: “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
  • We will refuse to legitimate or normalize Mr. Trump’s Administration, which has already violated the core principles of American democracy by using explicit appeals to racial and religious bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny to gain political power. We will reject ideas, statements, and policies that strengthen the incoming Administration’s legitimacy, including divide-and-conquer tactics or strategies that position AAPIs as a racial wedge against other communities of color.
  • We will reject any attempts by the Trump Administration to use AAPIs to make a case for their legitimacy and diversity, and will not compromise our values and agency to gain a “seat at the table” in pursuit of narrow benefits. Nor will we conflate marginal visibility for genuine power and influence for our communities.
  • We agree to be transparent about our engagement with the Trump Administration, and to be held accountable for our organizational strategies and decisions.
  • We will raise awareness about how AAPI communities are affected by discriminatory and divisive rhetoric and policies, and will stand firm in opposing them.
  • We will support those who assume personal and organizational risk to defend democratic institutions and practices including human, civil, and constitutional rights, against unjust laws and actions by the government, any group, or individual.
  • We will seek unity in pursuit of shared goals, knowing that defending democracy will require various kinds of movements and tactics to weather the coming period of increased repression, and to build a more humane and sustainable world.
  • We will work tirelessly toward an inclusive and democratic vision that ensures the safety, self-determination, and wellbeing of all people, and we will model this in our resistance and solidarity efforts.

To have your organization sign on, please fill out the form at: bit.ly/AAPIStatementOfPrinciples

Signatories (as of January 26, 2017):

18MillionRising.org
AAPI Feminism Workshop
Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE)
Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education
Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL)
Alliance of South Asians Taking Action
Anakbayan-USA
API Equality – LA
API Equality – Northern California (APIENC)
API Rainbow Parents
Asian American Association- The Ohio State University
Asian American Leadership Forum for Youth
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian American Millennials Unite
Asian American Organizing Project
Asian American Psychological Association
Asian American Resource Workshop
Asian American Student Union at UMCP
Asian American Student Union at University of Maryland
Asian American Student Union (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Asian American Studies, UC Davis
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles
Asian Americans United
Asian Americans / Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, University of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Alameda Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Los Angeles Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – New Jersey Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – New York Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Sacramento Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – San Diego Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – San Francisco Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – San Jose/San Mateo/Santa Clara Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Seattle Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Texas Chapter
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Washington, DC Chapter
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
Asian Pacific Americans for Action (APAA) @ Cornell
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)
Asian Prisoner Support Committee
Asian Women United
Asians for Black Lives (A4BL) — San Diego
Baltimore Asian Resistance in Solidarity
BAYAN USA
Berkeley AAPI Alumni Association
Brandeis Asian American Task Force
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell
Chicago Desi Youth Rising
Chinese for Affirmative Action
Chinese Progressive Association – Boston
Chinese Progressive Association – San Francisco
Chinatown Community for Equitable Development
CHOW Project
Coalition for Asian American Children & Families
Critical Filipinx Scholars Collective
DC Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus
Densho
Department of Asian American Studies, UC Davis
DRUM – Desis Risng Up & Moving
East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU)
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Equality Labs
FIGHT (Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together)
Filipino Advocates for Justice
Filipino American Democratic Club of New York
Filipino Migrant Center
Florida Asian American Student Union
Freedom at Emory University
Freedom Inc.
Freedom Trainers
GABRIELA USA
Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
Guam Communications Network
HEART Women & Girls
Hep Free Hawaii
Hepatitis Education Project
Hmong Innovating Politics
Hmong National Development
INHERITANCE magazine
Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement
Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association
Jahajee Sisters Empowering Indo-Caribbean Women
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
Japanese American Citizens League – New York
KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress
Khmer Health Advocates
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center
Korean Resource Center
Kuya Ate Mentorship Program
Latinx Medical Student Association (LMSA) of Brown University
Lionswrite Communications
Many Languages One Voice
MekongNYC
Midwest Asian American Students Union
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – New York City
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Philadelphia
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
National Organization for Women’s (NOW) Inaugural Virtual Chapter: Young Feminists and Allies
New Directions Consulting
Nikkei Progressives
OneAmerica
Paradox
Pasifika PRIDE
Penn Taiwanese Society, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia South Asian Collective
Philippine Student Association – UIUC
Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro)
Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA)
Progressive Hmong American Organizers
Project ALOFA
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
Rad Azns
Raha Iranian Feminist Collective
REACH! Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center
Reappropriate
Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA)
Satrang
Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission
Service Employees International Union API Caucus
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
SHK Global Health
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)
South Asian Network (SAN)
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Southeast Asian Campus Learning Education and Retention (SEA CLEAR)
Southeast Asian Coalition
Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN)
Southern California Korean College Students Association
Spectrum LGBTQ of Alpert Medical School
Spice Collective, University of Pennsylvania
Stanford Asian American Activism Committee
The W.O.W Project
This Filipino American Life Podcast (TFALPodcast)
TIGRA – Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research & Action
Ugnayan Youth for Justice and Social Change
UPenn Asian Pacific Student Coalition
UPLIFT
UXO Clearance Laos
Visceral Crew
VietLead
VietUnity – Bay Area
VietUnity – Los Angeles
VISIONS
Visual Communications
Wakefield Asian Club, Arlington, Virginia
Yale Asian American Studies Task Force
Yellow Rage