SAN ANTONIO – Myra Dumapias, a leader with the Asian American and Pacific Islanders for Justice grassroots group in San Antonio, is tired of the silence and says she’s ready for her community to speak up about the racial injustices and attacks they have been experiencing.
“It’s simply about time that we take our own leadership and not be misrepresented by someone else because of a political platform or because they have much more money,” she said.
Dumapias said many headlines are shying away from truly calling out what’s happening in her community, here in Texas and across the nation. One instance, she says, is the lack of coverage following the shooting in Atlanta, in which eight people, mostly women of Asian descent, were killed. The suspect told police it wasn’t racially motivated and claimed to have a “sex addiction.”
“What happened in Atlanta is an act of anti-Asian hate. It’s an act of gender violence, and it’s part of a long-time problem of Asian women being minimized only down to our sexuality,” Dumapias said.
Dumapias is pushing to engage her community in a local survey that would gather data about the types of crimes they are experiencing. The results could lead to more assistance to the community, training and policy changes, she says.
Dumapias says her community has been overlooked and underrepresented for too long.
“We’re visible during the annual Asian Festivals, as restaurant owners and grocery store owners. But once we step outside those spaces, we become invisible and become silent. And so, if something were to happen to any one of us, what type of support can we rely on?” she said.
State Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, said it’s time for the Asian American community to join the equality movement.
“We need people to be actively engaged in the in the act of being anti-racist, and that is calling out racism no matter if it’s against Asians, against African Americans, if it’s against Hispanic people or whoever it’s against. We need to call it out,” Wu said.
Along with other Texas House members of Asian descent, Wu signed a resolution Condemning Violence and Hate Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in Texas.
“The resolution is not only asking lawmakers to take a stand against the type of racist rhetoric and actions but to bring light to it, to the whole state, so that people are aware of these things,” Wu said.
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