We stand with justice for George Floyd, for Ahmaud Arbery, for Breonna Taylor and for the countless other victims of systemic racism and Black Genocide. But words are not enough. Change simply will not happen unless there is tangible action.
We will be donating proceeds from our E-comm & Cannabis sales to The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, because advocacy and public education are necessary to effect and sustain infrastructural change. We encourage you to donate to support the African American Community.
LETTER FROM THE FOUNDERS
We had known that we live in a racist state - as Asian Americans, we are reminded of it everyday. But the aggressions are different, and our lives are rarely in danger. The criminal justice system does not actively target and oppress us as it does the African American community. When we hear the names of victims - names like Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice - being mentioned, we feel pangs of anguish, but we do not pretend to understand from passive, vicarious observation.There is no way to fully understand and internalize the lived experiences of racial oppression in America as non-black individuals.
That is our privilege - the privilege of forgetting, that slowly blinds us. We are truly ashamed to admit, we have grown some sort of a thick-skin, a callousness to the systemic injustice. A passive opposition to the status quo, which is uncomfortably not too far from an acceptance of it. The quick by-the-way-have-you-heard conversation starters that often chalk up to "Oh well, this is America," is the privilege of forgetting that we have, because we do not live and feel these moments.
But why are we giving White Supremacy a perennial hall pass?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As we reflect, especially as Asian Americans, we have been beneficiaries of the Civil Rights Movement that allowed for American pluralism to manifest. We are able to be here and enjoy the rights that we have today, because of the trailblazing courage and activism from the African American community - and forgetting simply cannot be an option.
We believe that admitting our ignorance is the first step. We will never understand what it is like to live as African Americans, but we will try our best through better understanding history and first hand accounts. More importantly, we will educate ourselves on all the ways, big and small, to become better allies - as individual citizens and as business owners. We are open to all suggestions and resources to attain knowledge, formulate strategies, and execute meaningful tactics to help combat systemic racism. Reading is step one - two books that we have revisited that have been helpful to us were The New Jim Crow and Just Mercy. Step two is expressing and communicating your ideas.
Second, your voice matters, and your money matters - donate to advocacy groups and education funds. Protesting is the rawest form of public advocacy, and it has historically been the instrumental catalyst for social and civil rights progress. We must force the world to see these injustices, and institutionalize change via policy to eradicate them. Regardless of whether you plan to protest or not, make sure to donate. Capitalism itself is a racially oppressive power structure, and each dollar goes a long way to amplify the advocacy needed for a better society.
In the midst of all this, we must also remember we are still in the middle of an uncontrolled global pandemic - by a fucking virus that disproportionately targets BIPOCs. If you are going to protest, please be careful and make sure to mask up, protect yourself and get prepared. LA - we live in a city where the mayor is weaponizing health - All COVID testing spots in LA have been closed in retaliation to the Protest.
Third, educate your community, especially the elder Asian American community for many of our followers.Have those difficult conversations. Show them what they fail to see. Bridge the gap, oftentimes lost in translation across borders and generations. Mobilize your friends and family to complete the census, register to vote, and then GO VOTE. It is through new laws, policy reform, and institutional best practices that we change the vital organs (see: criminal justice system) of the oppressive White Supremacy state. Elect the leaders, across federal, state, and local governments, that represent justice and true reform.
Talk to your African American friends and loved ones, be there for them, and better understand how you can help them heal and fight this fight, together. Process your emotions, vet your sources, and bring awareness to information that allows us to form collective strategies on effectively dismantling injustice.
As you can probably tell from this e-mail, we are still confused, angry, and ignorant. But we know this. Fuck white supremacy. Put your money where your mouth is. Educate yourself, and educate others. Know what it takes to be an ally. Act on it.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lunch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters... When you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodi-ness"—then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.