Prabal Gurung has begged members of the Asian-American community to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Nepalese-American designer, who often incorporates social and political messages into his fashion collections, has penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in which he voiced support for the anti-racism protests that have erupted in major cities across the U.S. and the world following the shocking death of unarmed African-American man George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis on 25 May.
Noting that he believes it is time to discard the “cycle of submission” and myth of the “model minority”, Gurung urged his fellow Asian-Americans to use social media and other platforms to vocalise their advocacy.
“It is time for us to stand in solidarity with black communities whose sacrifices led to the civil rights and privileges we benefit from. It is time we show America we are more than a ‘well-behaved’ and complicit trope. Now is the time for action,” he wrote. “We have to demand change, and demand that police brutality and the flagrant and systematic disregard for black lives stops. Humanity is not tied to one person, place, gender or race. Black Lives Matter; our liberation is bound together and we must turn our segregated oppression into a collective resistance.”
Elsewhere in the article, Gurung also reflected on the complicated emotions he had over finding out Tou Thao, along with Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, had been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in relation to Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin, the man filmed kneeling on the 46-year-old’s neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
“Seeing that an Asian man was involved in the violent murder of a black man, I feel a responsibility to help cultivate solidarity between black and Asian communities. We cannot perpetuate the narrative that the colonists put forward, which says that minority groups shouldn’t get along,” the 41-year-old concluded.
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