The violence in Georgia this week predominantly impacted Asian-American and Pacific Islanderers (AAPI) and their communities, and the mass murder follows a year with rising numbers of violence against AAPI people and AAPI-owned businesses.
Melody Li, LMFT, is a queer-cis colony-born immigrant and therapist in Austin, Texas. She is a founder of Inclusive Therapists, a mental health justice movement pursuing equity, justice and liberation. On Wednesday, she shared the following post titled “Dear Asian Kin and supporters”, speaking specifically to immediate grief reactions and the impact of intergenerational trauma resulting from oppression of AAPI people in the United States:
"If you feel invisible: Staying unseen is how we're taught to survive, and what was enforced on us to keep us silent. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate @InclusiveTherapists
If you feel undeserving of compassion: Our elders held onto the "we don't have it that bad" gratitude narratives to survive. We're taught to keep our pain small. Your pain is valid. You are deserving of care. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate @InclusiveTherapists
If you feel frozen or exhausted: We have been watching and anticipating this surge of violence for over a year. The shock of seeing it unfold is overwhelming. It's okay to disconnect. Let others speak up. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate @InclusiveTherapists
If you feel anger and rage: We are expected to channel our anger into productivity. It may feel confusing on how to direct it right now. Let your anger be liberatory and generative. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate @InclusiveTherapists
If you feel grief: Our bodies hold layers upon layers of intergenerational losses that are unprocessed and unspoken. Let your grief flow. Tell a friend, animal, spirit, or nature. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate @InclusiveTherapists
If you feel alone: We are typecast as perpetual foreigners, scapegoated by colonialism. "Othering" may feel unbearable today. You belong. We belong. You have community right here. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate @InclusiveTherapists"
The full post is on Instagram @InclusiveTherapists.
If you want to support the AAPI community, Stop AAPI Hate has suggestions for taking actions at https://stopaapihate.org/actnow/.
One suggestion is to encourage education in Ethnic Studies, and the organization states:
“Support Ethnic Studies in your local school districts and educational institutions. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have experienced centuries of violence in the U.S. We need to address the perpetual foreigner stereotype that frames Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as outsiders to this nation. Due to this Orientalist framing, Asians can be excluded, detained, deported, and attacked because we supposedly don’t belong here. Ethnic Studies helps teach students the sources of this racism and promotes racial empathy and solidarity.”
The EAP strives to embrace diversity and cultivate inclusion in all aspects of our operations to best serve all of our clients. If you are impacted by grief and trauma concerning the violence against AAPI and would like to speak with a counselor, you can contact EAP at 512-471-3366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.