Almost wish I was still in surgery ~ nerve blocker and general anesthesia to block this all out.
For the past year, I had to listen to Trump talk about “Kung Flu” and “Chinese virus” and has used those phrases as recently as this week while at least 3,795 hate incidents occurred since the start of the pandemic (according to the Stop AAPI Hate study). Seeing incident after incident of violence ~ often on elderly Asians being attacked ~ leading to horrific injuries and even death.
All of that wears on a person. Especially when the worst part is that the anxiety gripping me is fear for the ones I love. You can’t help but see that could be your parents, aunt, uncle, grandparent, neighbor, person you know from your favorite restaurant…
Then during a house hearing about anti-Asian discrimination and violence hearing, you hear Chip Roy (R-TX) glorifying lychning: “There’s old sayings in Texas about ‘Find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. We take justice very seriously, and we ought to do that”! He continues to double down on that statement (hopefully I don’t need to remind everyone but might as well now: lynchings were not about justice ~ they were acts of mob violence and were done mainly to people of color) and he also dismissed the hearing as being against the First Amendment.
Well I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the GOP again doesn’t think there should be repercussions for what a person says even if it leads to mob justice…but the implications are real. I worry about my cousins, my nieces, nephews, friends, old co-workers (many who are reeling with what is happening in their old homelands like Burma) and what insults could be possibly hurled at them…and what else could happen after that.
The internment of Japanese Americans during WWII ~ such an atrocious violation of US citizens’ rights…I was blown away by this part of our history as a child but now as an adult I wonder if maybe the otherness will always come before citizenship even in my own case. I’ll be honest I rarely think of myself as Asian American (and debated about what to title this) because when asked I will refer to myself simply as American ~ my upbringing and values are a blend of multiculturalism but my citizenship is the country in which I was born, raised and still live. While I don’t think that or rather hope that would never happen, I bring the point up because the US was at war with multiple countries and only one group was interred…and we’re still referred to as Asian Americans even if we are as varied as Americans in general but nonetheless it our otherness that others see and identify us by first first and links us together as one and as an other.
And then there’s what happened in Atlanta ~ the horrific killings of eight people and having to hear sheriff captain Jay Baker at a press conference say about the suspect involved “yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did”. You should check out Baker’s FB post about a shirt he loves ~ COVID 19 imported from Chy-na written on the front. Exactly the person I would love to hear from regarding an investigation about a potential hate crime and to offer such a stellar explanation of the incident. Luckily I’ve never had such a bad day myself ~ and sorry if all of that including my sarcasm makes you want to throw up. Well it does to me too.
But I’m gonna go out on a limb here ~ it’s racism and misogyny all rolled up so tightly it’s hard to know where one starts and the other ends and plus sexual repression in that the shooter was an incel. Involuntary Celibate ~ a man who blames women for all of his life’s ills. The toxic masculinity and the fragile ego that couldn’t take rejection. I’m sure most women reading this are cringing at the thought of their interactions with one of the creatures. How we have to be so careful about what we say ~ how we reject a guy because the consequences and the potential danger we are subject to are so real.
And when you’re part of a group that has a very prevalent fetish attached to it, the danger is magnified due to the sexualization of your identity. There’s so much I could say about this and on the harassment that I and women in general have to deal with on a daily basis but to be honest I don’t have the mental capacity to be that vulnerable or to deal with that at this particular moment. I’ve written about this years ago and things are still very much the same.
However I will say that almost every time someone has seen me in a situation where I’m being harassed or in trouble, they’ve spoken up and/or assisted in getting me out. So if you see something, it means a lot to someone to not feel alone if you say something or if you can, do something. I have definitely returned the favor as much as I can.
And just listening and being there for your friends, neighbors, co-workers ~ checking in on them (thanks to everyone who has reached out!), listen to their stories, write to your elected officials, learn about the history, stand on the right side of history.
And thank you for letting me vent ~ but now I really do need to focus on my recovery from this surgery and prepping for the one still ahead and everything else that comes along after. Still a long way to go…love and light always, Rosemary