Letter to the Assyrian Community
Letter to the Assyrian Community
To the Assyrian Community:
We are a group of Assyrian womxn who are dedicated to making our community a better, more inclusive place. Assyrian womxn are the foundation of Assyrian society. We’ve stood behind Assyrian men for centuries. Now, we ask that they return our support.
Over the past week, several Assyrians made the choice to post racist views to social media while disparaging Assyrian womxn in the process. When these Assyrians were called out for their statements, they chose to continue attacking and threatening the reputation of these women. We condemn these Assyrians’ words and actions and we will not pretend they are the only Assyrians with these views. For too long, our community has protected Assyrian men while teaching them Assyrian womxn are inherently inferior. We cannot pretend that our community is not divided on even the most simple of issues: whether Assyrian womxn have the right to disagree with Assyrian men. And we cannot pretend that many in the Assyrian community do not hold racist, homophobic, and sexist opinions.
When the world looks at the Assyrian community, it sees nothing but conflict and disrespect for one another. And we won’t stand for it any longer.
We call on every Assyrian who wishes to build a stronger community to start respecting Assyrian womxn. We have our own identities, voices, and opinions. Every Assyrian man who tells us how to think, act, behave, or feel is disrespecting us. Every Assyrian man who calls us disparaging names and insults on social media and threatens us physically, sexually, and emotionally is disrespecting us. Every Assyrian man who questions our loyalty when we call them out and plays the victim is disrespecting us.
We also call on every Assyrian to start respecting other marginalized groups. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We see the police violence against the Black community, and we condemn it. We support our fellow Black Assyrians. We know that our liberation as Assyrians is not possible until all people are free to live without fear of persecution for their skin, gender, sexuality, or beliefs. We must build stronger bonds of trust and support with other groups, including the Black community. Without those ties, we will never be able to count on their support in our times of need.
If you stand with us, here are two steps you can take to help:
Please donate to the GoFundMe we have created to show our solidarity with the Black community: www.gofundme.com/assyrians-for-black-lives-matter All funds raised through GoFundMe will be sent directly to the Black Lives Matter Foundation.
Please sign this letter and our virtual pledge for Assyrian womxn, gender-nonconforming folks, and our cismale allies to intervene against sexism both online and in our community here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScn0h2iBBnN8UfBRF9iBqdNgL_5srTMfUnfYywLXXpkihBGJQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1 By signing this pledge, you signal to Assyrians everywhere that you commit to breaking the cycle of misogyny against Assyrian womxn.
We know change doesn’t happen overnight. This is just a first step. But we are confident that every Assyrian who loves their nation will stand with us and our call to action.