COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: hai shuixian

People of colour, especially Black and Indigenous people, trans and queer Black and Indigenous people, and other trans and queer people of colour, are dying from COVID-19 at frighteningly disproportionate rates compared to whites, and not just in the US. In the US, Black Americans are making up the majority of the deaths from COVID-19 in places like Chicago (even though the city is only 30% Black), Louisiana, and countless other places in the US.Why? Because the often fatal effects of living as Black, Indigenous, and people of colour is a pre-existing condition.

HAI SUIXIAN

The growing impacts of coronavirus on communities of color is increasingly being revealed in reports and studies. The disparities are stark, the challenges are steep, and for QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) in these communities–the challenges are even steeper. Last month, the Trump administration began finalizing a proposal that will allow health care providers to discriminate against patients based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Community centers and shelters serving LGBTQ+ people have been forced to shut down or are struggling to stay afloat. Meanwhile, fear over the coronavirus is also exacerbating homophobia and transphobia. You can help. Please share. Thank you.

i am a diaspora shanghainese chinese human being.
i am mentally ill & disabled.
i am a multiple suicide attempt & severe abuse survivor.
i am alive.

⁂ 海水仙 hai shuixian

Pictured: ⁂ 海水仙 hai shuixian [ pronouns: they/them/theirs ] is a diasporic shanghainese chinese • mentally ill • sick & disabled • queer • trans • nonbinary writer, artist, creator, & mental health advocate. u can follow them on instagram at @fuck_instgrm, & see more of their work at https://rose.blue

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COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Cecilia and Jabali

COVID19 has made more than evident the race-based inequities of this country, and the world. Continued adherence to the status quo or normal of pre-COVID19 times is active participation in the oppression of black and brown humans, the other creatures on this planet, and the Earth itself. If we don’t learn and change things this time, it’s going to be far more difficult next time.

JABALI

It’s been two months since coronavirus began spreading across the US and since then, our infection rate has soared. We have the highest case count in the world with over 1.1 million infections and yesterday recorded our highest daily death toll. Because of widespread racial inequity, those infections/deaths are hitting Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities unfairly hard. Yet some states are starting to reopen anyway which is causing many to sound the alarm. In Georgia (one of the states opening early), a study released Wednesday showed more than four fifth’s of the state’s hospitalized coronavirus patients were Black. Advocates and experts warn reopening states too early will continue to disproportionately harm/kill more Black and Brown people. You can help. Please share. Thank you.

We are love based
We are margin walkers
We are spirit-based and space dust fed
We are creative with words and music and dance
We are for real.

Cecilian and Jabali

Pictured: Cecilia is an eighth-grade student who will be graduating middle school in June and going to ninth grade. She loves to write novels as well as comic books. She tends to draw and sketch whenever she can even if it’s a small margin on her math homework. She plays D&D with her friends, but they rarely ever listen to her and burst into song every five seconds and sometimes it’s funny but not always. Jabali is an inclusion specialist utilizing Peacemaking Circle in schools (K-College), businesses, families, government, and community settings. He has trained in the lineage of Circle Keeping connected to Mark Wedge, Kay Pranis, and Barry Stuart for nearly a decade. His work is deeply informed by his belief and practice of sensible, love based leadership.

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COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Alex

With all of the widespread hate, discrimination, violence, harassment, and fear the Asian Pacific American population has seen in the past two months…this is a time where people (myself included) are feeling the most isolated. Despite all the fear and negativity, in some ways I’ve also never felt more connected to my community seeing…how quickly folx have organized and mobilized to assist those who are most vulnerable. It is this that I will take with me and look back upon, as a constant reminder of how resilient communities of color can be.

ALEX JOHNSON

According to a new survey out yesterday, 32 percent of Americans have witnessed someone blaming people of Asian descent for the coronavirus. Of Asian Americans surveyed, 60 percent said they’d seen the same. Overall, three in ten Americans blame China or Chinese people for the pandemic. Incidents of increased xenophobia and harassment are happening all over the country from New York to Iowa to California. Stop AAPI Hate reported around 1,500 instances of anti-Asian harassment in a one-month period since mid-March. Gratefully, POC-led groups across the US have been mobilizing to combat this rise in hate. You can help by finding and supporting those groups wherever you live. Please share. Thank you.

I am Asian American
I am strong
I am supported
I am worthy

Alex

Pictured: Alex is a mixed race 3rd generation Japanese-American, born and raised in Seattle. He works as a civil engineer/construction manager supporting local agencies with their transportation, environmental, and infrastructure projects. He currently serves on the board of the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation as the President.

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Black Womxn Farmers Fight the Pandemic With a Food Revolution

My latest for the South Seattle Emerald. It was such an honor to photograph and write about Seattle sisters Nyema Clark and Shanelle Donaldson farming for Black health and liberation. In a time of pandemic when Black lives are being ravaged because of centuries of racism, Shanelle’s and Nyema’s food/environmental justice work is more critical than ever. This piece continues a story series I started last summer on Womxn and Nonbinary Farmers of Color in Washington State. The series is supported by NW Journalists of Color and the Facebook COVID-19 Journalism Project.

COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Marcus

Major catastrophes may not discriminate, but the suffering they cause lands disproportionately on communities of color. Racial and social inequities are inflamed, and those considered least during the good times remain neglected in bad ones.

MARCUS GREEN

Anti-blackness, orientalism, xenophobia, etc. People across the world are turning to racist ideologies to deal with their fear over the coronavirus pandemic. Since five Nigerians in China recently tested positive for COVID-19, reports have emerged of Africans facing alarming discrimination in the Asian country. Photos show signs banning Black people from buildings and businesses. Some Africans have been singled out for quarantine based on racial profiling. Others have been evicted from their apartments and forced to sleep on the street. Racism is a global problem, pointed out Eddy Zheng (New Breath Foundation) in a virtual townhall yesterday on safety and security hosted by The Peoples Collective for Justice & Liberation. Othering and criminalizing each other will not beat the coronavirus but humanizing and healing each other will. You can help. Please share. Thank you.

I am…

liberated
determined
resolute
unafraid
committed

Marcus

Pictured: Marcus Harrison Green is the publisher of the South Seattle Emerald, and a columnist with Crosscut. Growing up in South Seattle, he experienced first-hand the neglect of news coverage in the area by local media, which taught him the value of narratives. After an unfulfilling stint working for a Los Angeles based hedge-fund in his twenties, Marcus returned to his community determined to tell its true story, which led him to found the South Seattle Emerald. He was named one of Seattle’s most influential people by Seattle Magazine in 2016.

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Safety Not Stigma Campaign Awarded a 4Culture Creative Response Grant!

Wonderful news to share–I’ve been awarded a 4Culture Creative Response Grant to support my COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma portrait campaign! My campaign, launched Apr 7, works to combat increased racism against people of color during the pandemic and raise awareness about the disproportionate impacts of coronavirus on communities of color. The grant I’ve been awarded is part of 4Culture’s Relief Fund to support cultural workers and organizations during this time of crisis. Thank you so much 4Culture! 

You can see my portrait campaign by scrolling this blog, or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Erin Shigaki

The “forever-foreigne” sentiment sticks with Asian Americans. It hurts to see this play out in the global pandemic, where once again, when it’s not convenient for us to be American, we’re foreign, and seen as causing something terrible.

ERIN SHIGAKI

Reports of coronavirus-related hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders keep coming in. Most hate incidents are verbal abuse, ethnic intimidation, and vandalism. But acts of violence are also taking place including the March 14 stabbing of a Hmong American family in Texas and April 5 acid attack on a Chinese American woman in Brooklyn. This week, actor John Cho published an essay in the LA Times, “Coronavirus reminds Asian Americans like me that belonging is conditional.” I took these images of Seattle-based artist Erin Shigaki as she did volunteer food deliveries in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (SCID). Erin said she felt comfortable wearing a mask in the SCID but when she wore a mask anywhere else, she was getting nasty looks. People of color deserve to stay safe from coronavirus too and not get stigmatized when they go out in public. You can help by sharing. Thank you.

I am Asian American.
I am grateful for and committed to my community.
I am powerful.

Erin

Pictured: Erin Shigaki creates murals and installations focused on the experiences of communities of color, often the incarceration of 126,000 people of Japanese ancestry, including her own family. Erin is passionate about highlighting similarities between that history, the inhumane detention and family separation immigrants face today, and other systemic injustices black and brown people continue to face. Erin is also a community activist with the Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee and Tsuru for Solidarity.

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We’ll Never Flatten the Curve If People Are Behind Bars

Many of you have heard this week about the Ohio prison where 73 percent of inmates tested positive for COVID-19. Because of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, prisons, jails, detention centers are literal “tinderboxes” for the coronavirus. All over the country, we are seeing some of the biggest outbreaks happen behind bars. I spoke to activists and organizers about what’s been going on in Washington State’s incarceration facilities and it’s so worrisome. From lack of testing and lies about the virus, to inhumane treatment of people incarcerated, there’s a lot we all need to know. In my latest for the Emerald, please read about what’s happening to one of Washington’s most C-19 vulnerable populations–the thousands of human beings behind bars–and learn what you can do to help.

COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Marlon

Witnessing the ignorance and blatant racism the Asian American communities and African American communities have experienced during this time has been unbearable. It’s time for everyone to bring an end to racism. I hope that during this time of slow down, a new normal can emerge where we see each other as whole, beautiful humans, not just our skin colors.

MARLON BROWN

After weeks of insisting people didn’t need to wear masks (and scoffing at mask-wearing by Asian cultures) health officials changed their tune early April and started advising mask-wearing in the US. Masks, research shows, actually do offer some protection. But for Black folks who constantly face the threat of racial profiling, covering their faces is no simple thing. Right away, reports emerged of Black people being targeted for wearing masks in public, from being escorted out of Walmart to handcuffed by the police. Marlon said friends and family in Detroit, where he’s from, have faced aggression for wearing black cloth face masks (the CDC recommends cloth face coverings). Marlon has one of the black masks too. He said he feels okay wearing it in Seattle but would not wear it back home. If mask-wearing becomes our new normal, there is real danger of continued racial incidents as virus restrictions are lifted and more people go back outside. That’s why normalizing images of people of color wearing masks now is critical. You can help by sharing. Thank you.

I am human
I am resilient
I am a survivor

I am listening
I am not finished yet!

Marlon

Pictured: Marlon Brown is an equity consultant who specializes in leadership coaching, change agent mentoring, and organizational development, with an emphasis on facilitation, training, racial caucusing, policy development and implementation. Marlon also has over 20 years of professional experience working in healthcare, automotive and government organizations as an Information Technology Project Manager. 

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COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Monyee

It’s terrifying to be Chinese in Chinatown right now. Do you realize how backwards that statement is? Considering that Chinatowns were built historically as a safe haven from the racism and yellow peril we have and continue to experience. I feel scared for the aunties and uncles, for those who cannot speak for themselves, for those who are being harassed. Ultimately, I fear for our community but I hope that this experience also brings awareness to the Asian community to build solidarity with Black and Brown communities and what they already experience every single day.

MONYEE CHAU

This week, white supremacist group Patriot Front stickered hate messages across Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. The stickers, put up by three local white nationalists, said things like “Not Stolen, Conquered,” “Reclaim America,” “Better Dead Than Red.” The men wore dark sunglasses and masks and did their hate work in plain view during broad daylight. Thankfully, the stickers were removed right away by community members. But anti-Asian racism and harassment keeps rising. Also, this week, Trump and some of his officials continued to float the unproven conspiracy theory that the new coronavirus was created by a Chinese lab and released on the world. This theory is NOT supported by science and has been overwhelmingly rejected by experts. When our President insists the conspiracy might be true anyway, it encourages ongoing hate and blame towards AAPIs (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders). You can help stop this. Please share. Thank you.

I am a child of immigrants
I am a storyteller
I am my ancestors
I am Asian American

Monyee

Pictured: Monyee Chau (b. 1996) is a Taiwanese/Cantonese American artist residing in Seattle, Washington. They received a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, and explores the ideas of decolonization and ancestral healing through labor in multiple processes of art. She is passionate about redefining the experience of being a second generation immigrant in America, and building community through shared food and storytelling. 

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