NQAPIA joins national AAPI and LGBT groups in support of Trayvon Martin

NQAPIA has joined the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and the the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (the Task Force) in expressing dismay over the George Zimmerman verdict and to show support for Trayvon Martin and his family.

In this time of dismay, we hope our communities can find support from one another and experience healing as we continue to combat a sociopolitical system that facilitates discrimination.

Below are both letters NQAPIA has cosigned with leaders from both AAPI and LGBT national organizations.

National AAPI Sign-On Letter:  Courtesy of NCAPA

We express our dismay that George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black youth last February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. We express our support for Martin’s family. We also call upon the Department of Justice to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman; urge our lawmakers to pass laws intended to eliminate profiling on the basis of race and other protected characteristics; and encourage the repeal of “Stand Your Ground” laws.

As people of color, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are deeply concerned with the message that this verdict sends — that the lives of people of color are less valued.

Our own community’s history in the United States includes violence and targeting, such as the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982, the post September 11th backlash murders of Balbir Singh Sodhi and Waqar Hassan, the killing of 19-year-old Fong Lee by a Minneapolis police officer, and most recently, the tragic shootings at the Oak Creek gurudwara in Wisconsin on Aug. 5, 2012.

We stand alongside our African American partner organizations and with community, youth and faith leaders to call for justice for Trayvon and for all the brown and black people who are routinely subjected to profiling, harassment and physical attacks in schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. This is the time for cross-racial, multicultural and intergenerational solidarity and understanding as we work towards justice, towards the elimination of institutional racism, towards a time when all lives are valued.

National LGBT Sign-On Letter:  Courtesy of NBJC and The Task Force

We cannot begin to imagine the continued pain and suffering endured by Trayvon Martin’s family and friends. We stand in solidarity with them as they continue to fight for justice, civil rights and closure. And we thank everyone who has pushed and will continue to push for justice.

Trayvon Martin deserves justice and his civil rights. We support the organizations and community leaders who are urging the federal government to explore every option to ensure that justice is served for Trayvon and that his civil rights are honored and respected. But our work does not end there: we will honor Trayvon Martin by strengthening our commitment to end bias, hatred, profiling and violence across our communities.

We represent organizations with diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituencies. Our community has been targets of bigotry, bias, profiling and violence. We have experienced the heart-breaking despair of young people targeted for who they are, who they are presumed to be, or who they love: Rashawn Brazell, Lawrence King, Ali Forney, Brandon Teena, Brandon White, Matthew Shepard, Marco McMillian, Angie Zapata, Sakia Gunn, Gwen Araujo and countless others.

Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety.

Justice delayed is justice denied and in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “a right delayed is a right denied.” We honor Trayvon by seeking justice for all people.