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As our country continues to reckon with race, non-Black communities of color have sought to show solidarity with Black America.

That includes the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Not surprisingly, these can be complicated conversations about race.

Here in Massachusetts, a recent statement released by the Commonwealth’s Asian American Commission noted that “Asian Americans continue to benefit from the ‘model minority’ myth and our historic proximity to white privilege” and that the death of George Floyd “pushes us to confront how AAPI people can be complicit in anti-Black racism and oppression.”Those words have sparked a debate over racism and privilege among local Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and questions about how the community can move forward productively to address systemic racism.

We discuss this with Vira Duangmany Cage, chairperson for Massachusetts’ Asian American Commission, and Linda Champion, attorney and Assistant General Counsel to the state’s Department of Industrial Accidents.

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