The AEU Rapid Response Team recently issued a Statement on our behalf “On the March 17 Lethal Shootings in Atlanta Area.” The focus of the Statement was the hate, discrimination, and othering being directed toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The call to action urged us to work with Asian-led allied organizations to oppose anti-Asian hate:
We call on allies against white supremacy and misogyny to support Asian-led organizations that work to counter this rising tide of anti-AAPI violence and hate, and especially ones that center Asian women. Two examples are the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Other groups working against anti-AAPI violence and hate, centering AAPI leadership, include Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.
What the Statement did not do — is, in fact, not designed to do — is to call on us to amplify our voice. In this case, our voice–through the AEU and the work of the Rapid Response Team–is condemning a vicious attack that focused on Asian women, is calling out police response that minimized the horror of the attack, is pointing us to networks and allies who can guide us in working to fight hate. The AEU has sent a copy of this Statement to all members and Societies. It has posted this Statement on its website for anyone who visits (or searches) to read it. The AEU has also posted the Statement on its various social media in order to reach out more directly to the audience it has developed.
What we need to do next is amplify. We amplify to reach a larger audience. We amplify to re-emphasize the importance of the message. We amplify to participate in the group effort to work together for a more humane world.
How do we amplify our message?
- We start with ourselves, and we talk. After we have read the Statement, we can tell others about it. Friends, neighbors, family members may be open to a discussion about anti-AAPI actions.
- We all have social media in one form or another. Our personal Facebook account, if we have one, is a good place to take a stand. Share the AEU’s Facebook post and add your own comment; make a new post based on the Statement; make your own statement and post it. No Facebook? Maybe Snapchat? Or something similar? Well, there’s still good old email. Friends and family who might be interested or concerned are excellent contacts for amplifying our voice. Toss your pebble in the water and expect the ripples to spread.
- Want to go bigger? Try your hand at a letter to the editor. Local and community newspapers are a good place to start a community conversation.
- Don’t forget the organizations that you belong to. I belong to a small, local group of Freethinkers. It’s easy enough to send them an email link to the Statement and request that we discuss it at our next meeting. Many of them are retired, but some are working professionals and activists in other organizations. Your reach may be much larger than you realize. Go for it!
We often assume that our local Ethical Culture Society will take on the task of following up on these Statements, or that our Ethical Action Committee will tackle the job. Amplifying our voice–emphasis on “our”–is, however, something that we all can do. Moreover, it’s something that we can do for every AEU Statement. Read it, talk about it, spread it around. To reach a larger audience. To emphasize the importance of our message. To be part of the group effort to work together for a more humane world.
Don’t forget to tell me what you did: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolyn A. Parker
AEU Ethical Action Committee