On Tuesday, March 16th, we once again faced national news of hate. This time? Increasingly bold and aggressive crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. From the time when COVID-19 became synonymous with phrases I do not wish to repeat, the AAPI community have been thrown into an unwarranted spotlight of speculation, blame, and anger.
This statement may sound familiar to the one we made last year and it pains me that we are here again. The recent hate crimes committed against the AAPI community can not be ignored. At Phylos, we acknowledge our responsibility to fight against structural racism, the war on drugs, and the model minority myth. Phylos stands with the AAPI community. Hate, racial intolerance, and violence have no place here.
The violence in Atlanta took 8 people away from us. Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Daoyou Feng, Xiaojie Tan, Soon C Park, Hyun J Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong A Yue. May they rest in peace.
Convictions resulting from drug possession, commonly cannabis, predominately target non-white people. BIPOC farmers continue to struggle. However, there are small steps towards leveling the unbalanced playing field that is cannabis and agriculture. Current legislation in Illinois and New York are focusing on legalization and expungement. Black farmers have finally been recognized in the most recent coronavirus relief and economic stimulus package. Asian American farmers have found new representation in Hollywood–Minari is a beautiful story of multi-generational farming and the importance of family and community that we often overlook.
Our Commitment in Action
- We acknowledge our privilege and relaunched our donation program of 1,000,000 hemp seeds to BIPOC- and AAPI-owned farms and organizations. We never considered ending it; but these crimes reinforce why we must continue to support these farmers and organizations.
- Racial and social justice is woven into our business conversations and company values. We continue to have an open dialogue on ways to stand up for these communities together.
- We want to bring more people of color to the table, from both cannabis and agriculture, to identify ways to create a different system. If you would like to have an open dialogue with us about race in cannabis and agriculture, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many resources available to those seeking more information on the history of anti-AAPI violence and why this community has been tagged as model minorities, yet are still considered foreign. Please join us in our solidarity with the AAPI community.
-- Ralph Risch, CEO of Phylos