About a week after taking steps to attempt to process the terrorist attack by white violence in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16, I reached out to everyone in Holding Common Ground to come together in solidarity and support of our AAPI communities as we prepare to start our annual cultural exchange next week. While Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange is an annual dance seminar bringing artists living in Vietnam, U.S. and other Southeast Asian countries together, I have a message to share. With the increase of Asian hate crimes and continuance of racism against BIPOC here in the U.S., Holding Common Ground is in such opposition to what other humans are doing to one another.
Anti-Asian hate crimes, violence and murders have been happening globally, and are still happening. This is not OK. Racial hatred is NEVER OK. The racist and divisive language in the early days of the pandemic calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” or "kung flu” only further placed the Asian and Pacific Islander community at risk of violence and discrimination. Anti-Asian sentiment is not unfamiliar to the AAPI community or the history of the U.S. White supremacist terrorism is real, anti-woman violence is real, hate crimes are real, racism is real and no one should be making excuses for any of them.
Throughout the course of history, there have been those who fought for justice who taught us that movements for equality and unity are stronger and more powerful when we include all of us.
More than half of our Holding Common Ground artists are AAPI and Asian. We stand with and support each and every one of them to understand the ongoing trauma caused by racialized state and structural violence they have experienced as well as their families, friends and AAPI communities at large.
We stand against racial hatred and discrimination.
We condemn violence.
We stand together.
We HOLD COMMON GROUND.
#StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate #StopWhiteSupremacy
*My deepest appreciation to these artists for uniting together and supporting each other.
*Thank you to my husband E. Mohammad Meftah for creating the original music for this video message which is apropos for today. We thank Bruce Lee - an incredibly powerful Visionary to both of us.
“We need emotional content.”
- Bruce Lee
What did Bruce Lee mean by this? When you are creating emotional content, you are creating in awareness, openness and receptivity to everything around you. You are in a state of relating to your surroundings. You are not in isolation - you are connected. Emotional content is also about the creation of art. Art is the communication of authentic feelings. We are all artists of our own lives.
"Many people are still bound by tradition; when the elder generation says "no" to something, then these other people will strongly disapprove of it as well. If the elders say that something is wrong, then they also will believe that it is wrong. They seldom use their mind to find out the truth and seldom express sincerely their real feelings. The simple truth is that these opinions on such things as racism are traditions, which are nothing more than a "formula" laid down by these elder people's experience. As we progress and time changes, it is necessary to reform this formula...I, Bruce Lee, am a man that never follows these formulas of the fear-mongers. So, no matter if your color is black or white, red or blue, I can still make friends with you without any barrier."
- Bruce Lee