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Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.

Facing Down Bigotry and a Pandemic

A random pedestrian spit on a 26-year-old woman on her way to the gym in her San Francisco neighborhood. In New York, a stranger chased and struck down a woman who appeared to be of Asian descent. And in Texas, a man stabbed a family of three at a store because he thought they were Chinese Americans spreading the coronavirus.

Donald Trump fanned the flames of this anti-Asian hostility by repeatedly calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.” And we can expect more racist rhetoric. According to reports, the National Republican Senatorial Committee advised candidates to “attack China” as a mainstay of their campaign messaging.

As members of the nonprofit Young Elected Officials Network, which is predominantly made up of people of color, we take the fight against racism to heart. Our millennial generation grew up believing deeply in social justice. We also believe that when the challenge is unprecedented, as this pandemic is, it helps not to be wedded to the status quo.

Our own cities have experienced disturbing incidents.

One of us, Janice, a first-generation Chinese American woman living in San Francisco, was harassed and shoved at a bus stop. Across the city, people have broken into and vandalized Chinese-owned businesses.

As mayor of Ithaca, New York, Svante is confronting verbal attacks on Asian Americans and situations in which people were physically menaced.

Talk to our young network, and one word emerges as we talk about our role in this crisis: education, in which cultural awareness is a vital ingredient.

As Ohio state senator Tina Maharath said, “There is no cultural heritage for any virus.” Marahath is the first Asian-American woman elected to the Ohio state Senate. Most Asian residents in her district are South Asian, as she is, and many have been bullied.

Some immigrants fear they will be targeted for deportation, and a lack of multilingual resources leaves people in fear of the unknown. Maharath is speaking out, informing her constituents in a newsletter and online.

Georgia State Representative Bee Nguyen says she and her colleagues are pushing the governor’s office to ensure that Asian communities in her state have the information they need to be healthy and safe.

“A lot of the information out there is very hodge-podge,” she says. People need multilingual information about the virus and how to mitigate its economic impact, including how to access benefits or what to do if your utilities are shut off.

Beyond these immediate adjustments, more action is needed to defeat all forms of embedded racism. We want everyone to stand in solidarity with communities of color as disproportionate impacts of the crisis strike us.

Even as we confront the ugliness of this crisis, we see great possibility. The pandemic has laid bare racism against Asian communities that some might have thought was a thing of the past. That awareness will inform our policymaking in the future.

Our network is in constant communication about what works best for cities, for schools, for deploying police and firefighters, for offering economic relief to residents — and yes, for combating bigotry.

When we emerge from the war on this virus, we will extend what we are learning to all the other “wars” we have — on poverty, addiction, and injustice — in a new way.

Meanwhile, in the states, cities, and towns our young officials lead, we are proud to celebrate the rich contributions of Asian Americans in this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This year, it is more important than ever.

Svante Myrick is the youngest-ever mayor of Ithaca, New York and the Director of Youth Leadership Programs at People For the American Way (PFAW) Foundation.

Janice Li represents District 8 on San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors and is a member of the PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.

June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
Dave Lindorff
Eruptions of Rage
Jake Johnston
An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations
Nick Pemberton
What is Capitalism?
Linda G. Ford
“Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?
Manuel García, Jr.
A Simple Model for Global Warming
Howard Lisnoff
Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism? 
Frances Madeson
Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers
Hayley Brown – Dean Baker
The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency
Raúl Carrillo
We Need a Public Option for Banking
Kathy Kelly
Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
Scott Owen
On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures
John Kendall Hawkins
All Night Jazz All The Time
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Tim Wise
Protest, Uprisings, and Race War
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
Jeff Mackler
The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US