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Can we move beyond ‘wash, rinse, repeat’ cycle of protests?

‘Nothing has changed except the year’

Sunita Sohrabji | Ethnic Media Services | 6/11/2020, midnight
The COVID 19 pandemic, which has dominated the news throughout much of 2020..

Thomas A. Saenz, President and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, expressed his hope that the nationwide rage against Floyd’s brutal death, would result in some tangible interventions.

“It’s ironic that today we are experiencing these crises under perhaps the most openly racist and exclusionary president,” said Saenz.

Saenz warned against “perpetuating and even facilitating discriminatory disparities which our underlying culture still accepts… if we cannot attribute them directly to intentional and openly-expressed racial discrimination.”

John Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) noted that Asian-Americans have had a history of both implicit and explicit bias against African-Americans.

“Asian-Americans have not always stood up for the African-American community, and that has to change,” stated Yang, adding: “I do think that this moment with George Floyd has caused us to see things differently.”

“The community, I think, has responded with more solidarity that have, I have seen than in past incidents,” he said.

Many Asian-American civil rights organizations have lambasted former Minnesota officer Thao for standing by as Chauvin pressed into Floyd. In the video, Thao can be seen trying to shoo away bystanders.

“We recognize that there was racism within our own community, and we recognize that has to be addressed,” said Yang.

“Part of the answer is having those hard conversations with our own community, recognizing our own biases and tying to come up, developing a path forward from there,” he said.