As you rest in Golden Power, Michelle Alyssa Go.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CY5HjjlMjpq/

我们是金的。
我们是金的。

We are golden.
We shine bright with our golden light. 
Our community shines bright with your light. 
You shine bright, Michelle Alyssa Go, as you rest in Golden Power.

For my entire life I have taken the subway,
Turning my head this way, then that way
Who will help if I call out hey, 
Who will help if someone wants me gone today?

I stand here now as my heart burns with fury,
I cannot simply say “do not worry”. 
Our community is enraged, we grieve and say again
Another name, another life, gone and then…

Then what? To be an Asian American woman in New York City,
Is to feel major and minor feelings woefully
Is to stay alert hoping we don’t get hurt as we wait for our trains
Is to be filled with sorrow, and our families, with pain

To be Asian American with my eyes above my mask
Is to look all around me, each day that’s a fact
Some may say that this was not racially motivated
But to come together and make a change, for that we are morally obligated

I can feel my body shake as I speak
I am tired of the Asian American woman characterized as “weak”
I urge us all to care for each other
Lend not just one but many helping hands to our sisters and brothers 

Let us change how we care for homeless folks
Let’s take action beyond the words that are deemed woke
Let us cherish the lives and celebrate and thrive
So we all may coexist with joy while we are still alive

Let us look around to each other not out of fear
But for solidarity, hope, and love from and with our peers
Without calling for incarceration
We cannot harm more Black bodies in our 美国 “beautiful country” severed nation

For the Black and Asian communities
We can heal together, and listen to each other’s stories
We can address the mental health crises
And interrupt the racism that kills our souls, minds, and bodies

Broken systems wrangle our humanity with stakes
Two lives have been failed in a system meant to win and to break
Us, We the oppressed, stressed and under duress
Through the daily atrocities – but are still expected to perform at our best

Feel all the feelings this moment may bring
You can cry, you have permission to do more than just languishing 
Care for yourself and remember we can care for our community 
Our liberation is intertwined together, our love and truths will set us free

Our voices matter, Hear our voices
In life, we are always faced with so many choices
Let us join, not only in moments of racial reckoning
Not only when someone is lost or when hate is beckoning

Solidarity is not a rarity, it is a daily commitment we make
In the actions we take to create change, with our youth, and to innovate our fate
For I know, we matter more than just in Black History Month and Lunar New Year
For I know, we are stronger together even as we shed our tears

For we shall not “divide and conquer” our communities in society
Instead we will rise from unjust hypocrisy
Despite injustice that continues to wear a cape of what’s “fair”
Let us abolish what does not work, dismantle the inequitable air

Stronger together, our communities unite 
May our inner strength carry us through this night
We, the people, will rise tall as the skyscraper heights
And together, We shine bright with our golden light. 

我们是金的。
我们是金的。

We are golden.
We shine bright with our golden light. 
Our community shines bright with your light. 
You shine bright, Michelle Alyssa Go, as you rest in Golden Power.

Golden Power

On the complexities of yellow and yellow peril, and offering an alternative: Golden Power.

A non-comprehensive list of what WE ARE NOT:
We are not 
yellow
foreigners
your yellow fever
yellow peril
invisible
dangerous
coronavirus
exotic
model minorities
a monolith
the enemy.

“Yellow Peril” is a racist term that has been used to describe Asian people as a danger to the Western world. The term was coined by Russian Sociologist Jacques Novikow in 1897 and used by Western empires and white people in power, including Kaiser Wilhelm II, to encourage colonization of Asian countries and people. Using “Yellow Peril” perpetuates xenophobia and anti-Asian hate.

“Yellow” as a color for Asian people stems from “Luridus”: “Lurid”, “Sallow”, “Pale Yellow” – a label assigned by Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus. “Luridus” was also used to characterize unhealthy and toxic plants, and “yellow” helped reinforce an irrational fear of and danger from the perpetual foreigners: Asian people.

“Yellow” and “Yellow Peril” have been denounced and reclaimed by people of the Asian diaspora. Only Asian people can decide for themselves whether to denounce or reclaim racist terms that have been used against us. If you are not Asian, you cannot decide for us. Each Asian person’s voice is valuable, and yet does not speak monolithically for all members of the Asian diaspora.

Asian Americans: We actively renew racist rhetoric in our language if we do not understand the intersectional history of standing for and with Asians. We can embrace the history of activism that comes with “yellow peril” and denounce its usage when used by non-asian folx to describe our humanity. We can bravely share our narratives because each one of us matters – individually AND as part of the Asian diaspora. 

I want to offer an alternative. Golden Power. GOLDEN. POWER. 

Affirmations for my Asian American community: 
We are Asian.
We are American.
We are Asian American.
We are Golden.


Rise up in solidarity.
Speak up to protect BBIA.
Embrace our Golden Power.

I am Golden Power.

We are Golden Power.