Black and Asian organizations gather in a “March of Faith” in New York’s Chinatown
Since the start of the coronavirus, the NYPD has reported that hate crimes against Asians have skyrocketed. Unfortunately for a city as diverse and robust as New York, it had become the center of the peak at the end of 2020, with the NY Post reports 900% increase over previous year. While white conservatives, including the Fox News reporter Tucker-Carlson argue that the black community is to blame – citing the fact that many cases involved black suspects – the city’s Asian American leaders push back against this narrative to show there has always been Solidarity between Blacks and Asian Americans. On Saturday, Black and Asian religious leaders, activists and community members will gather in Chinatown for a “walk of faith” to prove that.
“The Asian American community is very vulnerable,” Pastor Edward-Richard Hinds told The Gothamist. “And so that helps spread that message of love and togetherness, and that we are part of the solution as well. And we will be by their side. The pastor along with other black clergy came up with the initial idea.
Hinds is also part of the precinct’s 67th Council of Clergy known as “The God Squad”. This organization, along with more than 20 others in the region, came together to execute this demonstration of solidarity. The march will begin at 11 a.m. in Seward Park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side before winding through Chinatown and stopping at “key landmarks” to reflect and pray. At the end of the demonstration, participants will break bread together as a final show of unity.
“Historically, we’ve seen black people come forward for us,” said Pastor Ray Low of the New York Coalition of AAPI Churches. “We have support. And that’s a powerful thing. And when that happens, people also start listening. He also said he found the proposal “healing and honouring” when the march was introduced to him by Hinds and others.
To the point of many protesters between the many organizations involved, this is not the first time that Black and Asian American communities have come together in this way. Last year, during the Rally Against Hate, thousands marched through Chinatown with protest signs and chants shouting, “Black Lives Matter! Asian Lives Matter!
“Let’s not let skin color or our ethnicity and cultural background fool us,” a black organizer, Kelvin Coffey, told the crowd during the rally. “We are in the same fight.