Pinoys join Black Lives Matter protests vs police shootings

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 12 2016 05:01 PM | Updated as of Jul 13 2016 03:33 AM

NEW YORK - Hundreds of protesters and supporters of the Black Lives Matter Movement took to the streets in New York City over the weekend and demanded justice for the recent deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

Michael Basilios of Queer Liberation organization said as a person of color, it was important for him to take part in Black Lives Matter protests.

"We experience police brutality in the form of racial biases. The visibility of people of color like us is very important because it puts a face on an issue that rarely put focus on, kailangan na talaga nating maging visible. If we don’t fight for Black Lives Matter, we don’t fight for the liberation of black and brown folks, including Filipinos," he said.

The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile sparked the protests in different cities across the US over the weekend. But it was the Facebook video posted by Castille’s girlfriend--Diamond Reynolds--that sparked a twist on the conversation about race and police shootings.

In this instance, the trigger was not pulled by a white officer. In the video, Reynolds identified the Minnesota cop who shot Castille as Chinese. But according to the lawyer of officer Jeronimo Yanez, he is Mexican-American.

Attorney Thomas Kelly also told the Associated Press that officer Yanez was reacting to "the presence of a gun and the display of a gun" when he opened fire on Castile.

Basilios said some Filipino-Americans may be complicit in anti-black racism, consciously or unconsciously, by glorifying the western culture.

"It comes from the concept of safety. We’ve been taught that if we were white, we play into whiteness, that we will gain success. The problem with that is that we don’t have to be white, we don’t have to play the narrative of whiteness to be successful," Basilios said.

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