Living in the new world takes some adjustment and we all have to give ourselves some time–and definitely a break.
As Asian Americans we’re not just fighting what everyone else is from a COVID-19 pandemic standpoint, we’re also facing it as Asian Americans, and that’s a layer other people won’t have to deal with–the racism, the xenophobia, the way that it’s all overflowing out now. As a Brown Immigrant Vietnamese American life just isn’t the same as other peoples. Honestly-these days I like to stay shopping at the Asian stores. Get pickup from some of my places that are still doing takeout. I just feel more comfortable right now. The videos you’re seeing on social media of people just telling us to go home, calling us Chinks, trying to get into it with us. That guy with the words “Thanks Chinks” on his face-mask?
I’ve had to do double takes now more than ever–like “Did you do that because I’m Asian?” I had one guy ask me if I had the virus, and I had someone else go on a rant about China and airplanes and locking the country down within ear shot of me in a SA. I swear in Target (cause I still gotta go there) someone who worked there at the self serve areas was telling everyone else to stay healthy–except me. And I’m the one who had the mask on between us. And it’s one of those things–because of the climate we’re in–you’re asking yourself if you got slighted.
Or I was standing in line 6 ft back with my black mask on and this White hipster couple in front of me is talking and then after the guy stops talking to his girlfriend/wife, she just turns her head and looks at me for just a little longer than normal, but not too long where I feel like I need to say anything (and she wasn’t checking me out either–because you know-I do rock that black mask if I do say so myself).
Everybody has stories like this–at the very least.
And this is only take #1 because what happens after this? When there’s a vaccine, after the stay at home orders are lifted?
When the news starts to run.
When businesses that were closed stay closed. When people on unemployment stay on unemployment because the businesses that they work for don’t want to overextend themselves.
I don’t know about you, but history tells me some people might want someone else to blame.
What do you think that’s going to look like? Because it’s already happening.
Right now everyone’s going to get a stimulus check (well you know…) there’s some light at the end of the tunnel even as the country goes through more tragedy and death then it’s seen in some lifetimes. There’s a ray of optimism that in some way’s we’re all clinging too.
But the longer this goes the more that optimism fades, because it’s just human nature, because people need to pay their rent, their mortgages. They need food and clothes, and while some people can have a large support system, others are smaller, and still others are non-existent. The weight of it all will become crushing.
So You Have To Fight
It’s like what else are you going to do. You have to survive. For the majority of people out there, they have to work. On that front it’s just innate. Keep going or die.
On the other side, like everyone else, I’m thankful for what I have, and working hard to keep it.
At the same time I’m just trying to do what I can here and there with twitter and this place, which hasn’t been a ton, and I’ve also been putting my time into some other projects that I feel just have to happen because this time can never be forgotten. We have to force this on other people to make them understand what’s happening. To make them never forget that these are our lives and our families and friends that are being impacted on all levels.
I won’t ever let America forget what they’re doing to us.
We just can’t.