I am Unapologetically Asian
In 2020 I was constantly asking myself how I could be an ally for BIPOC and the BLM movement
I started with little things. The basics of social media: share, like, and interact with posts. That moved to taking a class on the discussion of race and reaching out to my Black friends and peers just to check-in. I wanted to let them know that at the very least, I was listening. Listening to Black voices through videos, articles, books, essays, and research. At the end of the semester, I decided to focus two thesis papers from my history economics course and my philosophy course on the history of slavery and equality to try and convey these injustices. I still have a lot to learn.
Personally. I’ve never particularly felt that my ethnicity would pose a danger to myself and my family. It was, for the longest time, something I could not truly fathom, a fear that is experienced by many other minorities. Sure, I heard the regular scheduled xenophobic comments here and there, like open your eyes, or what are you eating it smells so bad, and the occasional chink. But I never felt like my skin color would make my life more dangerous because I live in a town that is quite literally greater than 50% comprised of Asians.
On March 10, 2020, we officially entered into a global pandemic
I knew the flood of racist comments was coming. We would be the scapegoat; and bigots around the world now had an opportunity, banded together, to unleash their racism.
“The China virus”
It was our fault. How dare we? Go home. We are not welcome
Racist people can’t even be racist properly. Non-Chinese Asians, to my understanding, were similarly attacked. People don’t care if you’ve never even been to China. If you look Asian, you were the problem.
I remember in my race class explaining the history of why China (and other parts of Asia) eat dogs. China as a country has a very poor history. When you have 1.4 billion people to feed, and poverty running rampant, the breadth of what is considered “edible” expands. China’s poor history is how we can trace a lot of my culture’s cuisine: stinky tofu, hocks feet, chicken feet, cow intestines are all staples of Chinese cuisine. It took me no more than a few minutes to explain this but it allowed my peers to sympathize with my culture. They listened.
The past few months I am utterly shocked and irat
The deep-rooted racism towards Asians is peering out as we have become scapegoats for current events
I started doing research. Readings and articles and videos have shown the increasing PHYSICAL assault and VIOLENCE that Asians are experiencing. I am sick to my stomach seeing people assault, rob and attack my people. A video of an elderly Chinese man being pushed to the side of the road made me want to hurl. The cries of a Chinese grandmother being robbed and assaulted made me feel so deeply sick. People with the same Chinese surname as me, appearing on the news, being assaulted and brutally attacked. Today, I saw on the news of another Asian owned-store being robbed. A 46-year-old good samaritan Yong Zheng saw the robbery, and along with other pedestrians, tried to chase the robbers. Zheng saw a crime and tried to stop it. He was stabbed four times and died upon arrival at NYU Hospital.
I didn’t realize until recently how bad it’s been. And then I looked at my own history and realized that I’ve felt this unease first hand this past year.
A few weeks ago I shared on Instagram the public racist comments of three random people calling me a chink and other racist comments. In 2020 I also experienced physical violence because of my race. In Vancouver, where Asian culture is such a prominent aspect of our city, Asian hate crimes have increased by over 700% in 2020. It is only getting worse.
So what can we do?
I don’t know
I am still trying to figure out how these systemic issues can be solved. But like my devotion to better study BLM and Black history in North America, I believe it is education and awareness, and sympathy, that we need to spread
And so I am going to make a promise to better understand my own history and the history of Asians.
WE ARE NOT JUST A MODEL MINORITY
But please. A simple thing you can do is watch out and protect us. Be an ally and stand with us and hear our voices. We are not just a model minority. We feel the same pain as other POC for not having the systemic privileges of being born white.
I watched a report that there was this Black family that patrolled around the neighborhood in Compton during the day to just be a watchful eye for violence against POC. This warmed my heart and I felt the love and allyship being reciprocated.
I just want to know that we have allies. I know we do. And in an unprecedented time, community and friendship and family and allyship are more important than ever. It’s time for everyone else to open their eyes as well to see that we are being attacked and discriminated against.. I ask that you spend just as much time discussing these injustices and actively fighting against systemic racism as you do talking about how much you love KBBQ, Sushi, Bubble Tea, and Dim Sum.
Please continue to Listen.
Please continue to watch out for your fellow Asian friends.
WE ARE NOT JUST A MODEL MINORITY
For the leading source of Asian American News, follow @NextShark on Instagram. Please be advised some of the posts may be disturbing for audiences.
For learning more about Asian-American culture, WongFu productions on YouTube is a household name for producing very high-quality entertainment videos, dramas, comedy, rom-com, and other great skits, even having a movie released on Netflix. I highly recommend their short rom-com series “What is a Yappie?” free on YouTube.
This post is not to take away from the suffering from other communities around the world. Right wow more than ever we need to unite through our humanity
I will try to continue to post resources and links on my social media on how you can stay up to date on Asian-(North)American news.
Like, share, comment, repost. Our voices need to be heard.