Tou Thao, George Floyd, And Anti-Blackness Among Asian Americans
Start writing a post
Currently

George Floyd's Death Highlights Internalized Anti-Blackness Within The Asian American Community

Tou Thao's role in the death of George Floyd teaches us one vital lesson: Being complacent means being complicit.

5786
George Floyd's Death Highlights Internalized Anti-Blackness Within The Asian American Community

Recently, a video of George Floyd's violent arrest, which resulted in his death, has surfaced and drawn widespread outrage, especially following multiple recent reports of hate crimes and police brutality. The video, which was taken in Minneapolis, shows a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck while Floyd repeatedly states, "I can't breathe." Floyd lost consciousness during this incident and later died. The video and the later protests, which occurred after the police officers present were fired but not charged, have sparked further conversation around police brutality and the treatment of African Americans.

However, the video also began to draw further attention from the Asian American community due to the involvement of Hmong American police officer Tou Thao, who is clearly seen in the video.

Tou Thao, who was fired after the incident, can be seen standing guard in front of his colleague, who is pinning Floyd to the ground. Thao was presumably keeping bystanders from approaching the scene or intervening as witnesses shouted at both him and the other officers present.

The involvement of an Asian American officer has alarmed and disappointed many other Asian Americans, with many beginning to open discussion surrounding the relationship between anti-Blackness and the Asian American community. To some, Thao's presence and failure to stop his colleague illustrates how Asian Americans as a whole have been not only complacent but complicit in the upholding of anti-Blackness in the United States.

The video has also served as an example of internalized anti-Blackness among Asian Americans.

Asian Americans have been viewed as generally apolitical. Historically, the Asian-American community has shown a low voter turnout and has been viewed as less vocal on racial and political issues, possibly as a result of Asian immigrants' attempts to assimilate in the United States. Asian Americans have also been viewed as the "model minority," being placed on a sort of pedestal above other racial minorities. The recent increase in anti-Asian racism due to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how fragile this position truly is and how quickly the view of Asian Americans can shift from model minority to xenophobia reminiscent of the "Yellow Peril."

Asian Americans have now become more vocal about issues of racism that directly affect them, especially during this pandemic. While it's good to see more Asian Americans speaking up for themselves, how often will we, as a community, actually speak up for other people of color?

As Asian Americans, we have to ask ourselves a vital question: are we fighting racism, or are we only fighting anti-Asian racism?

The model minority myth has granted Asian Americans some level of privilege, and this privilege has allowed Asian Americans to be more apolitical than other racial minorities. Of course, the model minority myth also has many negative impacts on Asian Americans, but we need to acknowledge that the way many Asian Americans have internalized the model minority myth has also caused the Asian American community to become more complacent. The internalization of the model minority myth is, in many cases, accompanied by internalized anti-Blackness. We can see this internalization in the many anti-Black comments left under some reports of racism against Asians, in the all-too-common use of the N-word by Asians and Asian Americans, and, in this case, in Tou Thao's participation in George Floyd's arrest and death.

The combination of anti-Asian racism due to COVID-19 and Tou Thao's involvement in Floyd's death needs to be a wake-up call for Asian Americans.

No matter how uncomfortable it may be, we need to confront our own prejudices and internalized anti-Blackness. It's definitely a bitter pill to swallow, but this anti-Blackness is deeply rooted within the Asian-American community. We need to break down the model minority myth, and we need to start speaking up, not just for ourselves, but for other minorities as well. We can't just be vocal about our own issues. We can't afford to be apolitical, nor can we allow ourselves to be complacent around the issues of any minority. Tou Thao's role in the death of George Floyd teaches us one vital lesson: being complacent means being complicit.

Report this Content
Featured

How Technology Has Changed Our Lives

While we are all very dependant on technology, we are losing touch with humanity.

2556
How Technology Has Changed Our Lives

If we look back on how our ancestors lived we can sense a totally different lifestyle. If they could come back and live with all our technological devices they surely would think they are in a completely new alien world. They lived such a simple life without our devices that it seems as if centuries have passed by. In reality most of the discoveries were accomplished in the past twenty years. Indeed we have assisted a total technological distortion. This change in our lives was characterized by a myriad of technological innovations, due to globalization.

Keep Reading...Show less
Sports

Why I Love Football

Why Is Football A Sport That Is So Celebrated Across The Nation?

5778
College quarterback drops back to make pass as football season begins
https://pixabay.com/en/quarterback-american-football-sport-67701/

It is the time of year when the athletic event of football tends to exhilarate fans across the Nation. Why is football a sport that is so celebrated across the Nation? Many times I have asked myself why I even love the game of football so much, especially being a female, but I came up with a few of the many reasons why football fans love the game. though this may not be everyone's reasons for loving the game, here are some reasons that I love football.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Nostalgic Early 2000s Barbies: 34 Forgotten Treasures

For all the 90's babies and their obsession with Barbies.

30435
Barbies on a display case
LATimes

With Barbie mania overtaking society with the release of the new movie, here is some late 90's/early 2000's nostalgia for you in Barbie form.

It's sure to stir up old memories and unlock some good ones. And if you're feeling inspired by a particular toy but you don't remember where you put it, we've listed where you can find one today. You're welcome.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Riots and Protests rock Paris and other French cities

Crazy European Summer

1306
Riots and Protests rock Paris and other French cities
A 17 year old boy of North African origin was shot and killed by French police during a traffic stop on Tuesday. The police claimed they "feared for their lives" when the boy started driving away from them and opened fire, killing him.
Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

When DEI goes haywire

Shocking Revelation: Doctors Resort to Ethnicity-Based Prioritization in Medical Care

1551
When DEI goes haywire
In a shocking move in New Zealand, surgeons must now consider ethnicity in prioritizing patients for operations.
Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments