For Immediate Release

February 22, 2016

Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN USA, vc@bayanusa.org

Message to Peter Liang Defenders

If defenders of NYPD Officer Peter Liang had their way in the Philippines, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos might still be president, and the Filipino cops Jude Siapno and Chuck Mabanag of the notorious Oakland Riders might still be officers on the streets of West Oakland. The logic of Liang apologists seems to say that Liang should be defended by Asian Americans because he is Asian American.  

Does being the same race and ethnicity somehow earn unquestioning loyalty by others of the same race and ethnicity?

Marcos was Filipino and “doing his job” as president of the Philippines, but that didn’t stop him from jailing, torturing and murdering thousands of innocent Filipinos. Siapno and Mabanag were “doing their jobs” as police officers when they planted evidence and beat up innocent people to meet police quotas and advance their careers.

Protests to defend Liang are at best misguided and at worst a dangerous tool meant both to divert us from the issue of police accountability and to divide black and Asian communities.

Let’s forge unity based on genuine shared interests. In the case of Peter Liang, BAYAN-USA believes that our shared interest lies in unity with the family of Akai Gurley, with anti-racist Asian community organizations tirelessly standing for real justice such as CAAAV and #API4BlackLives, #BlackLivesMatter, and black people fighting for self-determination—not with a cop who was working for the interests of the U.S. security state in the service of U.S. imperialism.

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BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 20 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist and progressive Filipinos in the U.S.  For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org.