The Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago) mourns the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless individuals whose lives have been cut short by systemic racism and violent bigotry for generations upon generations. We stand in solidarity with the African American community in demanding accountability from the perpetrators and those in positions of power who enable them. Black Lives Matter.
At this crucial moment, our nation must yet again tackle its legacy of institutional oppression, starting with the original sin of chattel slavery to the various forms of legalized discrimination that have followed ever since. Lawyers have an important role in addressing these problems and helping find ways to move forward with solutions that promote fairness, safety, and equity for every community in our country. Let us also remember that Black-led victories in the civil rights arena are the reason for many of the legal protections that we rely on to thrive today. As Americans rise up to make their voices heard anew, we condemn any attempt to incite violence and/or curtail constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and peaceable assembly.
While our political and legal institutions face a reckoning, we must also acknowledge the forms of racism – and in particular, anti-Blackness – that circulate through our own Filipino American community. This involves learning lessons from the historical moments alluded to above, but also confronting how colonialism has shaped pernicious attitudes about skin color that sadly manifest both consciously and unconsciously throughout the Filipino diaspora on an everyday basis.
In recent months, Asian Americans have increasingly been targeted by racist violence and discrimination due to irrational fears stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and which have been amplified by irresponsible rhetoric by some public officials. May this experience further hone empathy for our Black sisters and brothers – many of whom have denounced the present climate of anti-Asian xenophobia – and inspire us all to be better partners and allies in the ongoing struggle for equal justice. As an organization that works to remove barriers to marginalized members of our profession, this commitment is essential now more than ever.
June 10, 2020
Letters for Black Lives (Tagalog Translation)
Act to Change | Act to Change for Black Lives Resources
Entrepinayship | Anti-Racism Resources
Psychology Today | Addressing Anti-Black Microagressions in Filipino Families
ACLU of Illinois | Know Your Rights for Protesters
Hollaback! | Bystander Intervention Training
STATEMENTS OF SOLIDARITY