It has taken me a few days to reflect and process my response to the heinous murder of 8 lives in Atlanta this past Tuesday. 6 of those lives being Asian women. On Wednesday, I saw notices on my phone with the headlines, glimpses on my social media posts, but could not get myself to actually learn more. It was not until midnight, because I could not sleep, that I decided to fully dive into my social media and read posts and articles.
My physical reaction quite shocked me. I felt a slow weight sinking into my chest, then flutters of irritation as I saw the number of posts with #StopAsianHate. The weight in my chest was acceptance. I am desensitized to reports of deaths as a result of racism. I expect it as part of the norm and have come to resent the surge of anti-racist sentiment that does not sustain beyond a season for many. Anger eventually comes, but I am angry that death has become necessary for a mass response in our country and world to rise up against white supremacy.
Immediately, I emotionally shifted to guilt for my thoughts. I understand the need for people to express themselves through their posts. I recognize that many of these posts are people who have also stood for Black Lives Matter and consistently show up in solidarity against racism. I also recognize that social media may be the only place some people feel they can publicly vocalize their own experiences of racial discrimination. Maybe their families, workplaces, and friends would not be so open to this conversation. There is power and influence in social media; so I concluded this can move us forward in raising racial consciousness.
These on-going murders and deaths of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islanders and People of color are the continuation of white supremacy reigning in the world.
RACISM = DEATH.
This includes death by:
DIABETES & OTHER DISEASES,
LOWER LIFE EXPECTANCY,
For hundreds of years, racism has claimed the lives of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and yes that includes Asian and Pacific Islanders. It continues. It looks different but feels the same. Families lose loved ones they can never get back time with. It is systemic, and it lies in the individuals who carry out these acts. If you don’t believe these are due to racism, consider this….the white man who killed six Asian women believed his life was more worthy than theirs. That is the epitome of white supremacy.
So please continue to post #StopAsianHate along with posts that continue to raise racial consciousness to prevent the death of communities/persons of color. Continue to do so beyond this week and make a commitment to disrupt the misconception that Asians do not experience racism. Seek opportunities to take action on the ills listed above. Maybe you are a first responder, work in health systems, teach students; in any way in your realm of influence, how can you begin to act towards changing systems to increase the health and thrival of BIPOC versus harm and suffering? What are messages you are giving to BIPOC in your life, especially if you do not share the same race? Are they loving, uplifting, and affirming their identity and value? Are you stepping in when you witness your fellow neighbor or colleague diminish the worth of a BIPOC community member? Are you answering the call for change by BIPOC in your organization?
ANTI-RACISM = SAVING LIVES
It can be difficult to stay hopeful with being inundated with horrific news. My heart aches for the lives taken, AND I commit to continue pushing myself to fight against racism, even through heartache. What will you commit to?