Earlier this week I was watching one of my favorite police procedural shows. I like them less now that we as a society have done a deep dive into the need to fundamentally change the way policing is done in America. During a commercial, one of the local newscasters reported on attacks on two Asian American women in San Francisco. My heart sank. Later I saw a video of a man kicking and beating an Asian American man who had been pushing his baby in a stroller. I felt anguished because I just did not and do not understand such hatred.
Yesterday, I went to Kaiser for a shingles shot. As I sat in front of the building on Howe Street in Oakland, I was thinking that each Asian American person out on the street had to wonder if they were going to be attacked. It made me feel so bad.
What is wrong with us? How do stop this nonsense? I wanted to run up—well, walk up—to every Asian American person I saw to say, “I am your ally and friend.” I wondered if they would think I might be someone who might harm them.
On May 31st, the country will commemorate and remember the violence inflicted on Black Americas in Tulsa Oklahoma—the destruction of Black Wall Street and the attacks on Black bodies.
It is beyond tragic to think of the attacks on Asian Americans. The cruelty inflicted on Latino immigrants during the reign of terror we just left was another attack on people of color.
Why? How do we stop this? To me this all stems from white supremacy that devalues the lives and bodies of people of color. The fact that I have seen my own people attacking Asian Americans sickens and saddens and puzzles me. We are all people of color catching hell in various ways in this society.
I have no easy answers but wanted to share these thoughts, feelings, and observations. I could not call out to all the Asian Americans I saw yesterday but I hope my vibe and love somehow reaches them. We have to do better.