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Vincent Chin & The Birth of The Asian American Rights Movement
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Table of contents:
- The ‘Chinese Virus’
- Model Minorities
- Reflection for AAPI Families
- Reflection for AAPI Accomplices
Vincent Chin’s Birthday & The Start of the Asian-American Civil Rights Movement
When is it?
- May 18th
Watch & Discuss: Scapegoating
- Simpsons scene on scapegoating (best for kids 4+)
- What is scapegoating?
Watch & Discuss: Disposability
- Who is Vincent Chin? (content warning for anti-AAPI violence, murder, cussing, best for 6+)
- What consequences did Chin’s murderers face?
- If our murders face no consequences, what does this teach AAPI people about our safety in the US?
- What does it mean to be disposable?
Watch & Discuss: Xenophobia
- Adults: ‘Other’ A Brief History of American Xenophobia (7:10, long, wordy, and drops a lot of numbers and legislation, so might be inaccessible for kids under 10.)
- What is xenophobia?
- More Resources:
Watch & Discuss: The Chinese Exclusion Act
- The Chinese Exclusion Act
- How is the perpetual foreigner trope weaponized against AAPI folks?
- What is the yellow peril trope in media and how does it set kids up to fear and avoid giving AAPI folks agency or power in the US?
The ‘Chinese Virus’
- Why we don’t call the coronavirus the Chinese virus
- How Coronavirus Racism Infected My High School (3:42, best for kids 6+ content warning for the typical anti-Chinese classroom stuff, but also videos of physical violence against Asians)
- How has anti-Asian racism changed over the development of the US?
- Has scapegoating and xenophobia against Asian Americans ever truly disappeared?
More Resources to dig deeper:
The Model Minority Myth
- Adam Ruins Everything: How America Created the Model Minority Myth
- Model Minority trope, explained (ages 8+)
- Why do you think stereotypes are true? (7+)
- Why do we call Asian Americans the model minority? (9+)
- Bring in Brown To Keep Black Down
- Has keeping silent, assimilating, and ‘behaving’ the way white America demands made us any safer?
- What is a ‘bamboo ceiling,’ and how does this system block Asian Americans from obtaining positions of power in the US?
- What model minority stereotypes reinforce Asians as the ‘other’ and reinforce anti-Blackness?
More Resources to dig deeper:
Assimilation and playing into the model minority myth isn’t enough to stop racists & xenophobes from killing us.
Reflection for AAPI Families
Acknowledge & discuss the bind of being called on to choose white/western forms self-advocacy to avoid being targeted with our kids.
How are rallying cries for self-advocates to ‘speak up,‘ ‘get loud,‘ etc. often used to victim-blame AAPI, given that many of us were raised to communicate indirectly? Should we be forced to assimilate to whiteness in order to be heard and believed?
How do we balance the impulses to save face and maintain group harmony that we might have been raised in, with the need for some forms of disruption and systemic criticism often required for self-advocacy and activism in the US?
No right answers: In what creative ways can we protect our families, advocate for our communities, and reject coerced assimilation, while showing up as our full selves?
Reflection for AAPI Accomplices
Discuss your role in coerced assimilation and victim-blaming as accomplices in support of AAPI friends and family.
Why must we examine whiteness, rather than make further demands for AAPI to avoid/prevent attacks, in the role of white supremacy and discrimination against AAPI?
Whose responsibility is it to stop targeting, attacking, and killing American Asian and Pacific Islanders? (AAPI shouldn’t have to get loud, perform better, or ‘act white’ to stop AAPI hate.)