We members of the Minnesota Asian Pacific (MAP) Caucus, stand in solidarity with our Minnesota Legislative People of Color and Indigenous Peoples (POCI) Caucus in our condemnation and outrage of the killing of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police officer on Monday, May 25. We empathize with and see the pain our African American brothers and sisters are experiencing. This killing is not just an incident in this moment in time, but the triggering of generational trauma going back hundreds of years.
We also acknowledge that in the current state of COVID-19, we are seeing increased violence and bias towards people of Asian descent. This is the consequence of inflaming prejudice and amplifying terms that stigmatize ethnic groups. Hatred and hostility will not prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases from spreading. This can only be accomplished through unity and cooperation.
The MAP Caucus believes firmly that the systems which permit those who vow to protect us to decide our fate are the same systems that create the structures which turn marginalized communities against each other during times of uncertainty and fear. America has a long history of racializing communities of color to create divide and distrust in order to maintain White hegemony. It has long perpetuated false narratives in order to use one community to subjugate another, a divisive tool to prevent us from fighting for a common cause.
We, the MAP Caucus, affirm our commitment to challenge these systems. We are unwavering in our solidarity with Black people and the movement for Black lives. This acknowledgement does not negate the very real fact that the Asian community also experiences racial violence. As we grieve the killing of George Floyd, we must come together and demand positive action for all Minnesotans. Racism and xenophobia seek to divide us, impairing our ability to work collectively. We must stand together to defeat systemic racism and institutional violence.
The MAP Caucus members include Assistant Majority Leader Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), MAP Caucus Chair Samantha Vang (DFL - Brooklyn Park), Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL- St. Paul), Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL - Maplewood), Rep. Jay Xiong (DFL- St. Paul), and Sen. Foung Hawj (DFL - St. Paul).