When we read all the supportive messages we've received recently about these hate crimes, we're truly grateful to have found such a diverse and open-hearted community in all of you.
As first-generation Asian Americans, we’ve been struggling with how to put something so personal into words. The fact is many Asian immigrant families are not great at talking about their feelings. We were taught that feelings should be buried deep beneath a hardened exterior of heads-down mouths-shut hard work. Out of fear, our parents had learned early on that it was better — safer — to stay silent and out of the way. Live and function within the system. Never challenge the system. It was a privilege to be here and for some, too much had been sacrificed to put it at risk.
When we first heard our ex-president refer to COVID as “kung flu” and “China Virus”, we brushed it off and scoffed at its sheer ridiculousness. When we saw the murder and attacks on helpless elderly men and women, anger bubbled violently in our hearts but we continued to dive back into our work. When we heard of the 8 victims in Atlanta, we cried with you knowing that it could have been our own family. And that it still can be.
It was too personal. Many of us didn’t know how to talk about it — just that we all felt the same inside.
The faulty language from officials and misuse of news headlines are only more disappointing. This wasn’t someone’s “bad day” — it was murder, racism, sexualization and dehumanization. This isn’t anything new. It’s just being brought into the light.
Our social networks can sometimes feel like an echo chamber, as we know those of you reading this have been standing with us. But we need to find ways to reach people with differing views and more importantly, speak in a way to ensure this hate doesn’t grow or get passed on to our impressionable youth.
We were born here and our kids will be born here too. Despite how we’re all feeling, we’ve seen enough warmth and acceptance in our lives to know that this isn’t how it will always be. We know there’s a future where all our kids will grow up with confidence, compassion, and love in their hearts. This is our platform, and we’re going to use it to help build this future.