Don’t mistake the silence for complacency. It’s just been a busy week.
This article is being written days after that Asian spa incident. It turns out that just 2 - 4 hours ago from right now. There's an ongoing, uncovering story about a shooting in Boulder, Colorado. That developing story is NOT related to this article since I'd be done writing by the time facts come out.
I’m not going to try and portray that I know the entire psychology and philosophy behind racism but I have a big feeling these two play a big factor in all of what’s happening right now.
It’s definitely unfortunate that last year it was black people, now Asians, hopefully this doesn’t become an annual trend. There are lots of thoughts in my head so let’s just do a rapid-fire points and just pardon the follow and structure for this one:
First I was thinking: “man, I don’t want to be feeling bad (for anyone or myself) every year. This has to stop”. I’m not even in the victim mentality at this point, but it’s more like: “there’s a problem, what’s the (permanent) solution”.
That’s actually another reason why it took me a while to write. I didn’t have a solution. While I think highly of myself, I don’t think I can single-handedly eradicate racism in one writing, in one go. I figured maybe I was just thinking too much and not really doing much, which prompted this brain dump.
Is (lack of) education to blame? At first I wanted to say yes. By the way, when I say education, it’s not just academic knowledge but also about teaching people how to interact, socialize, live with other people; the soft skills as you might call it.
I guess not since if you look at the list of highest education globally, US alone can single-handedly disprove my claim.
“But maybe that measure is just for academics, not for the life lessons?”
Well…still no. Japan for example teaches kids to prep their own meals and clean their clean their own classrooms. Canada claims we’re tolerant, but we’re not perfect. In Germany–this I’ve learned from German/Swiss friends–they basically teach you in school about their dark past and basically how to not repeat history. I commend them for doing these. They’re pushing it down hard that some students are uncomfortable because it’s getting to the “alright I get it, I genuinely learned about it. It’s bad. We’re not going to do it. Can you stop us feeling bad now?”…I think it’s great and it would’ve been effective yet there are still far-right extremism in Germany.
Countries, groups, and individuals are making strides but it’s not going to be completely eradicated any time soon.
Maybe it’s Economics?
I thought this because based on the racism I’ve seen in real life, most of the time it’s usually the bum-looking, uneducated, destitute ones who are being racist. And what’s up with targeting Asian elders and women? That’s being an ultimate wuss. “Oh I’m racist, but I’m not strong-willed enough to antagonize a lot of Asians. Here, let me pick on the seemingly weak and helpless: the women and the elders“.
That’s racist and sexist, with a taste of agist in there. Boy was that kid proven wrong.
Yea it’s not economics. People in high positions can also be racist. People above you can also be quietly racist without you knowing. It can be in the form of discrimination in hiring practices, opportunities, or unfair treatment.
So what’s the cause of it?!
I actually don’t have the answer. I mean, I can’t provide you a researched and fact-based answer. You can google it here. Other more qualified and professional people with better facts can answer that for you.
There are several causes but all I can say is that I picked “Intolerance” and “Ignorance” (they are concepts you’ll find similar in that link) since that’s how I had it in my head and that’s how you can put a label on it.
To my search for the cause/factors of racism…there isn’t any. At the very least, there isn’t just one. One can be educated/rich/well-versed/well-meaning and still be racist. You could also be not racist now but then down the line you become one, or vice versa.
All I’m noticing is it’s like how some people describe freedom: “it’s something you have to constantly uphold(check) and fight for”. It’s a constant reminder to check yourselves, others, especially those that are within your interaction.
In modern times, the difficulty isn’t about the access to facts and information. Before one can be excused with ignorance because “oh sorry, I didn’t know”. At these times, data and information are ubiquitous yet some people prefer to ignore the facts (hence ignorant).
Alright, so as a hypothetical example, CCP is doing messed up things. Pick any. The government may be doing some messed up shit, but that’s it. Read that again, but slowly: the government.
Not the entirety of Asia, not East Asia, not the Mainland China + Taiwan + HK, not even the population of mainland china, but just a select few in the government. So that said, why harass and assault Asian-Americans who have lived there all their lives and are probably as white as a bag of cocaine? Yes, they were in their houses since forever yet you claim they’re responsible for a virus from thousands of miles away.
Edit: to be unbiased and absolutely fair here, one cannot say that the entire government is at fault (that is, from a town janitor to their president). Conversely, one could also argue not all citizens are innocent and not share the sentiments of the government. I mean, it's China. Who want's to speak against a tight government like that. This is where the moral dilemma rises. You don't know who's who. It's hard to split hairs, so as human beings with high moral standards, you can't just 'shoot in the dark' and see what falls.
The other side of this dark coin is intolerance. Everybody knows (or at least they claim they know) that each one is different. But in real life, when faced with uniqueness and difference, people are intolerant. Just skin colour alone is a big deal for some people.
Who you are, what you have, how you do things, the things you believe in, your approach and perspectives in life–now with this globalized world–will be vastly different from the person next to you. Even if your nation is not globalized yet you know already that while you may look, sound like your neighbour, you and they think differently.
No one is better, stronger, or more superior than the other. It’s just…different. You use cutlery, they use chopsticks. You believe in Obi wan, they believe something else.
You using a spoon does not make you a better person. Both of you guys just have two different approaches on how to put food in your mouth. Sure they operate differently than you but why hate? What did the other person do to you?
There will be some scenarios where you look like you’re better off than someone (e.g.: your nation is more prosperous than someone else’s. Whatever advantage you have, it doesn’t give you the right to harass, do harm, assault, and make someone feel bad (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc).
Honestly, this is easily solvable in two ways: the first is you travel. Go to places you’ve never been before. Immerse yourself in culture. It may be expensive so if you can’t at the moment, your next option is to:
Watch Star Trek. I kid you not. Honestly, if you’re one of those people who cringe and look down on this because “ew, it’s geeky and nerdy”, honestly I’ve religiously watched this show (and I still am!) because this show is full of moral/ethical/philosophical dilemma, and less pew pew and explosions. It talks about life. It makes you think. You probably know yourself already and you’d say that “if this happened to me, this is what I would do” but ha, the show will actually show you, make you feel, show you the reality of how much you’re lying to yourself. I think it’s a great resource too if you want to be a leader in the future.
For real, if everybody could just watch Star Trek and/or travel, I think the world would be in a much better place at the moment.
I didn’t want to focus and prove that asian racism exists and that it’s a problem. I’m sure it’s all over the news. I wanted to go one level higher and address Intolerance and Ignorance in general.
Yes I’ve experienced and seen Asian racism before. Yes it can be unsettling and it can make you feel helpless to some people. I’m knowingly fortunate enough to experience less of it (both in intensity and quantity) but that doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist. If we all let this persist, we’ll all experience hatred and violence towards us. Yesterday it was blacks, today it’s Asians, who’s gonna be next?
And while I know that I should be extremely aggravated and agitated because of these incidents, I’m trying to leverage my calmness and clarity of mind to give helpful knowledge.
Today I’m not coming from a place of fear but rather, I see things as how they really are. These attacks–discrimination to anyone, asians, blacks, women, gays, etc.–this is not an “us” problem. This is a “them” problem. We are not here causing shit but rather other people who are ignorant and/or intolerant are just…being them. Their insecurity is showing because their decency is giving in.
They want you to feel bad, feel fear, press you down, but in reality it’s them who are feeling those and they are (desperately) trying to pass it on to you. It’s a boulder of burden they created by themselves. What they don’t know is they can easily let go of the pain and fear by just not making those boulders in the first place.
This is why some people think I’m either oblivious or passive to any attacks towards me (racism or otherwise). If you’re not doing anything and simply just your presence irks and makes someone uncomfortable and agitated, who really has the power over who? I get flattered 😉
It’s a ‘you’ thing maaaaan. Check yo’ self before you wrek yo’ self (and your country, reputation, civil/social cohesion, personal safety, safety of others around you and people close to you, everyone’s peace of mind, etc)