A rally slated for Saturday, March 27 in response to the murders of six Asian women in Atlanta last week and the rise in racism against Asian Americans has been moved from Palmer Square to Hinds Plaza because several hundred people are expected to attend the event.
The rally and vigil will begin at 1 p.m. All attendees must wear masks and practice social distancing.
The Princeton Chinese Community group is organizing the event in partnership with several other organizations. The group wrote a statement about the Atlanta killings that has been co-signed by several area organizations, including: the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Princeton University, the Central Jersey Chinese American Association, La Convivencia NJ, the Montgomery Township Equity and Inclusion Committee, the New Jersey Vietnamese American Community Association, Princeton Progressive Chinese Americans, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Asian American Program, the Princeton University Chinese American Parents Association, Not in Our Town, the Rotary Club of Princeton, Our Revolution Trenton, and Mercer United Chinese Americans NJ.
“We are outraged by the racially targeted killings in Atlanta as well as the blatant racism and misogynistic dehumanization demonstrated toward the victims. We ask for solidarity from all as we demand action and change. We ask our community leaders and elected representatives to respond to this violence with policies that support and protect our most vulnerable community members,” reads the statement. “We understand deeply that the fundamental root of anti-Asian hate crimes is systemic racism and xenophobia in America. The model minority myth is a stereotype that obscures the long history of racism, and hides the diversity within our communities.”
Asian Americans have ancestral roots in more than 20 different countries, organizers said. “We are U.S.-born, naturalized citizens, and undocumented immigrants. We are working-class and we are executives. Our differences are what makes us Americans,” reads the statement. “Like all racial injustice in this country, the systematic discrimination and biases against Asian Americans have too long been left unaddressed and too often invisible in the public’s eyes. Generations of Asian Americans have worked hard to support their families and contribute to our communities. What goes unrecognized are the many ways Asian Americans have continually faced and fought race-based violence and discrimination. We have been manipulated into the myth of ‘model minority’ for the purpose of trivializing our pain and suffering and justifying the systemic oppression of Black and Latinx people. We will not allow ourselves to be used as a wedge.”
Close to 20 percent of Princeton residents are Asian. Organizers said as the largest minority group in town, they see the urgency for change and understand their responsibility in joining and forging a unified front.
“There is no space for racism in this town. Hereby we call for a rally and vigil to remember the lives lost and the suffering due to racism and xenophobic violence in this country, and to remind ourselves of the importance of solidarity and unity, and to recognize our collective strength in building a strong community,” reads the statement. “We are determined to stand united not only with all members of Asian communities, but also with all members of the Black, Latinx, Indigenous and communities of color, people of all gender identities and sexual orientations, people of all religious and spiritual beliefs, people of all abilities, and all who believe in humanity. We know that we are fighting the same fight together – for safety, dignity, and justice.”