Fort Bend County rallies against hate, united but separate

SESHADRI KUMAR
Fort Bend County will have two rallies against "hate," both focusing on "Asian hate" or "Hate against Asians," on May 15. Both underscore the theme of "unity."

The two rallies by two different groups send a clear message of political divide in the nation.

One rally called "Together-We are United" at the Sugar Land Town Square will be held from 11a.m. until 1 p.m. and the other rally called "unity Against Hate" will be held at the Fort Bend County Justice Center in Richmond, at the same time, 11 a.m.

According to the organizers of the rally, "Fort Bend County residents, led by community activist JJ Clemence, together with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, will hold a "Together - We Are United" rally in Sugar Land Town Square.

The rally is a multi-organizational effort to denounce violence in the Asian community in all shapes and forms and to work for unity and respect. The rally will take place on Saturday, May 15, 2021 from 11 am until 1 pm.

"Unity is the power and strength which opens a door for everyone to get together to build a better community, regardless of their race, gender, or religion," said Event Chairman JJ Clemence.

"As the first in a series of 'Together - We Are United' events, we will be gathering as a united group to support the Asian community and denounce hatred, crime, and discrimination in any form."

The rally will include remarks from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Event Chairman JJ Clemence, Dr. Martha Wong, political strategist and commentator Dr. Bobby Eberle, MLK Association Houston Chair RW Bray, FBISD School Board Member Judy Dae, State Representative Jacey Jetton, and Dr. Seema Nanda.

In noting the importance of the "Together - We Are United" rally, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, "It's vital for all Texans to respect and honor the diverse views, opinions, and beliefs of those who make up this great state. It has become so easy to divide, but the real power of Texas comes from our ability to unite."

"Together - We Are United" will host a series of rallies in order to highlight America's enduring legacy as a beacon of hope for those suffering racial and other forms of injustice. Bigotry, racism, and hatred have no place in American society, and "Together - We Are United" denounces any actions that seek to harm or dehumanize our fellow citizens.

"Together - We Are United" calls on all residents to remember that in the eyes of God, all people are created equal. We know that each person has unique gifts, and we welcome all those who are committed to working together, hand-in-hand, to build a better county, state, and country.

The other rally, Unity Against Hate, says:

Join voices to take action against acts of hate on AAPI and all other communities. Take a stand against verbal and physical violence perpetrated on Asians. Together, we will fight and prevail to end hate crimes and discrimination in the United States of America.

Community Against Hate, a diverse coalition of community organizations and leaders have teamed up with the national civil rights organization NAACP in a clear stance to address hate directed toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

In a direct response to the increased verbal and physical attacks against Asians living and born in America, the #UnityAgainstHate rally will be held on Saturday, May 15, at 11 a.m., in multiple cities across the nation. The rally will echo the voices of many who have experienced hate crimes against them based on their race, nationality and identity.

To garner the support of the NAACP was imperative in our quest to unify a nation torn by racism and discrimination,” says Yen Marshall, Asian Pacific Islander Public Affairs (APAPA) Nationwide Rally Coordinator.

“It’s a fight that they’ve been at the forefront of for many years, one that many Asian communities have supported. While some may point out past strained relationships among Black and Asian communities, we want to display the unity we can achieve when rallying against hate.”

That the rallies are being held in Fort Bend County, where there are no known Asian hate crimes, is a manifestation of "identity politics" that has become a part of contemporary politics.

Added to that Fort Bend County has been a poster child for "diversity" for nearly two decades.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Fort Bend County Judge KP George, an Asian American, pushed for a Commissioners Court resolution on July 28, 2020, “Condemning COVID-19 Hate and Disproportionate Impact.”

The preamble to the resolution, read , in part: “Hate crimes, discrimination and aggression against Asian and Pacific Islander individuals and Jewish individuals are on the rise throughout the country as these groups are being blamed for the COVID-19 outbreak and spread;

“Extremists are taking advantage of COVID-19 to spread their hateful ideologies, including antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, and Sinophobia;

“COVID-19 is a public health issue, not a racial, religious or ethnic one, and the deliberate use of terms such as “Chinese virus” or “Kung Fu or Flu virus” to describe COVID-19 only encourages hate crimes and incidents against Asian and Pacific Islander individuals and further spreads misinformation at a time when communities should be working together to get through this crisis."

The resolution also said: "“If any Fort Bend County resident does not believe in what the county is saying, the proponents of the resolution educate the public by listing a series of blogs and reports by the Anti-Defamation League, Jerusalem Post and CBS elsewhere in the country."

Thus, one rally implies that "racists" are targeting Asians and is highlighting hate crimes against Asians, the other rally counters this narrative. It is condemning all racial attacks, including hate crimes against Asians.

This rally features prominent local Asian Americans, along with Governor Greg Abbott.