*This post is not meant to do a deep dive and be informational. I’m merely reflecting and dropping all my random thoughts here. If you’re interested in my deep dive informational medium please check out the Black and Yellow podcast, available on Apple podcast and Spotify.*
Seriously… I don’t even know what to say anymore. I’ve been showing a brave face and voice in light of everything because it doesn’t impact or affect me as much as it affects my community and those from various geographic locations. I feel very fortunate to be able to work from home and stay in the comfort of my own home with my baby and be able to shut out news if I want to. That being said, I also feel it is my duty to share content, to get out of my shell and be more vocal, and do even the smallest of actions to help against Asian and Pacific Islander hate.
As an Asian American transracial adoptee with an Asian American partner and infant, I’ve had a lot of intersectional thoughts and feelings about the past year and specifically the past week’s events. I’ve been doing my best to un-learn and re-learn history from the Asian American perspective and learn about the origins of harmful stereotypes, media representation, and more.
Events throughout history such as People v. Hall, the Chinese Massacre, the Rock Springs massacre, the San Francisco plague outbreak – even the post 9/11 attacks on Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim (South or Southeast Asian) I was not aware of until the past couple weeks.
With the Atlanta shooting the police captain described the murderer as having had “a really bad day”. News reports mentioned it “may not have been a hate crime, but instead may have something to do with the suspect’s claim of a potential sex addiction”. “A temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” Cue eye roll. In case there’s anyone who doesn’t know, this does not give you the excuse to end lives. There is no excuse or reason to end someone’s life.
When I think back to almost everything I’ve watched as a teenager to now there is no message that says this. So many post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, etc. shows and movies will show killing and death without necessarily explaining that one shouldn’t or how that person lives on in the aftermath of taking a life. I’m not saying all media is like this but a good amount is, especially video games. For me, this de-sensitized me and I question how many other young adults are also numb to this concept and therefore may not take it seriously. It’s something we need to have a serious conversation about as there’s a huge disconnect between media and real life and yet we associate or find media relatable.
Since the Atlanta shooting there was another shooting in Colorado and since then a group of kids decided to go around slapping Asians in public… Since then there have been numerous other incidents and hate crimes. No joke. Where are these kids getting these ideas? Hmm, let’s see. History. Media. Adults in their community and families. Maybe even school. And other.
If interested, you can listen to Alana and myself on the Black and Yellow podcast for a more historical dive into Asian American history and Asian American hate crimes throughout the centuries. To be honest, I was not aware of most of these historical events until recording this podcast episode (which says something about my K-12 education). I am also working on a more media focused take for the Wonderful World of Disney Villains podcast.
Please visit and support the #StopAsianHate resources. Please check in on your fellow Asian and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters and show them your support, love, and care for their well being.
I am lucky I have the strength, energy, and ability to compartmentalize my thoughts and feelings to be strong for my students. I am lucky my workplace addressed the anti-Asian hate crimes and made multiple statements standing in solidarity with Asian Americans and the mission to be an anti-racist institution.
I think it is important to keep learning and sharing about history, oppressions, and the ongoing hate crimes. I think it’s important to take time for myself as an Asian American, to take a step back, to reflect, to spend extra time with my family. I think we all react, comprehend, and share content and events differently and that’s okay.