News and Events: Thoughts on Racism and Riots
I didn’t think 2020 could get scarier, but here we are.
I’ve always avoided talking about politics, religion, or anything too controversial – it’s not my style.
But there are some issues where it’d be wrong to remain neutral or silent on.
So here it goes.
I’m Asian American.
I was first exposed to racism on the playground growing up.
I still remember hearing:
- “Charles doesn’t have any pets because his family keeps eating them”
- “All Asian men have tiny dicks”
- “Can you translate what ching chong ching chong means”
I was a kid and couldn’t understand where all this haterade was coming from. You’re really going to judge me because of my culture?
Kids aren’t born knowing about these stereotypes – they learn it from the environment they’re in.
As I grew older, I realized that racism can get much worse than taunts on the playground.
Some people might find it difficult to understand the problems that are going on right now.
Why’s everyone so upset and angry?
The Privileges That We’re Not Aware of
One of my friends at Georgia Tech was named Deandre.
I remember helping him go through his resume one day and I noticed that he changed his name.
It wasn’t Deandre – it was David.
Me: Why’d you change your name from Deandre to David?
Him: David’s my middle name. If I use Deandre, my resume’s going straight to the trash pile because they know I’m black.
If I go by David, I have a much better chance of getting an interview.
We all live in different realities.
Imagine you know a rich kid.
They’re born with such advantages such as private school, connections into an Ivy league school, graduating with no debt, and getting a 6 figure job through one of his Dad’s golfing buddy.
They can’t see their own privilege because that’s the only reality that they know. But we can see that they’re playing the game of life with cheat codes.
Some of us have certain privileges that other races don’t have.
- I can walk around a store and no one bothers me.
I don’t have to worry about an employee following me around to make sure I’m not stealing.
- I don’t get pulled over for no reason.
I remember my roommate in college would ask that I’d drive whenever we went for a grocery run.
“Trust me it’s better for you. I’ll get pulled over for driving while black”
- I don’t fear for my life if I’m ever pulled over.
If I get pulled over by the police, I don’t have to worry about getting my ass beat for no reason.
These are real issues that some of my Black friends have dealt with over the years.
COVID-19 is affecting everyone.
Research has shown that COVID-19 affected blacks the worst – health and financial.
Whatever wealth gap existed before is only going to get much, much worse.
We built this country on the foundation that “all men are created equal.”
That’s not true if you consider what happened to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless Black Americans.
Those are acts of evil.
We must do all that we can to prevent them from happening again in order to secure a safer future for our children.
I know things are getting tense right now, but understand this:
- No one’s defending the looting.
- No one’s defending the violence.
Please don’t let a few idiots distract us from the bigger issues such as racism and systematic inequalities.
These riots are happening as the last resort. More peaceful methods of protesting have fallen on deaf ears.
Property is replaceable, but lives aren’t.
Focusing on Black Lives doesn’t mean we’re neglecting the issues of other races or groups. I know there are issues going on in the Asian, Hispanic, Women, LGBT, etc. communities.
A rising tide lifts all boats.
Addressing and fixing black issues is a leading domino that will help everyone else.
Some Actions That I’ll Be Taking
I don’t have all the answers, but here are some actions that me and my fiance will be doing:
- Supporting Black Businesses.
We’ll be focused on supporting black businesses and restaurants in Atlanta. There are different lists online depending on what city you’re in.
- Donating to Charity
Here’s a list of charities vetted by CharityNavigator
We’ll be donating money to the ACLU
- Joining some Protests
I’m not sure if it’s the best idea with COVID-19 and possible violence, but we’ll try our best.
2020 is going down in history.
Future generations are going to remember George Floyd and these riots.
What happens if my children ask me what I was doing when all this was going down?
I can tell them I wasn’t silent and I took a stand.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”