To: University of California
We the undersigned, UC community members (alumni, faculty, students and staff) of Asian descent, stand in solidarity with all who are protesting the racist incidents at UCSD and, more importantly, the systemic forces that support such incidents. It is unacceptable for UC campuses to view the recruitment and support of black and especially African-American students as anything other than a top priority. UCSD should never have allowed its black student population to languish at 1.6% of the total student population and ought to have paid much better attention to students’ needs. The UC systemwide must take immediate and material action to improve the campus environments. We write as community members of Asian descent because we think it is particularly important for black students to know that they are supported by the group that is demographically the largest of the U.S. ethnic minority groups represented on UC campuses. We have common values and needs, and possess a history of African-American/Asian-American collaboration to draw upon, although this history is little publicized in the mainstream media. For example, African-Americans criticized anti-Chinese immigrant persecution in the late nineteenth century, and the Asian-American “yellow power” movement of the 1960’s worked in solidarity with African-American movements toward common goals. We call upon these traditions, together with a sense of urgency that is only commensurate to a society that has effectively abandoned the pursuit of social justice, and pledge to stand with black students in their time of need.