Black and Asian American religious leaders plan to march through Manhattan's Chinatown together on Saturday to show solidarity amid an ongoing spate of attacks against Asian New Yorkers.
“The Asian American community is very vulnerable,” said Pastor Edward-Richard Hinds, who is with the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, also known as "The God Squad," one of the partner organizations. “And so this helps to spread this message of love and solidarity, and that we are a part of the solution as well. And we will stand with them.”
The "Walk of Faith" involves 22 organizations. It starts at 11 a.m. at Seward Park and will “stop by key landmarks to spend time in reflection and prayer,” according to organizers. Afterward, participants will share in a meal.
Historically, we’ve seen Black folks show up for us. We do have support. And that’s a powerful thing. And when that happens, people begin to listen as well
Pastor Ray Low of the New York Coalition of AAPI Churches said Hinds and other Black clergy proposed the idea, a gesture he found "healing and honoring."
“Historically, we’ve seen Black folks show up for us,” said Low, who serves at the Table Church in Chinatown. “We do have support. And that’s a powerful thing. And when that happens, people begin to listen as well.”
Hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers in 2021 were up 361% over the previous year, according to NYPD stats.
The walk takes place in the wake of a number of high-profile attacks on Asian New Yorkers, including the death of GuiYing Ma, who was fatally bludgeoned outside her home in Queens; Christina Yuna Lee, who was stabbed to death inside her Manhattan Chinatown home; and Michelle Go, who died after being pushed off a subway platform in Times Square. Several incidents have involved Black suspects, and white conservatives like Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson have argued that Black leaders have stoked anti-Asian violence over decades.
In response, some Asian American leaders have pushed back, arguing that white supremacy is the real problem and that communities of color can’t afford to be divided.
Last year, at the Rally Against Hate thousands of demonstrators marched through Manhattan Chinatown, chanting, “Black Lives Matter, Asian Lives Matter!”
“Let’s not let the skin color or our ethnicity and culture fool each other,” a Black organizer, Kelvin Coffey, told the crowd. “We are in the same fight.”