Anti-Asian Racism: Conflicted About What You Are or Aren't Feeling?
I won’t lie. It’s been hard to locate myself amidst all the anti-Asian racism and violence.
I am not used to our community receiving this kind of attention, or much attention at all. Many Asian cultures are taught not to make waves or attract attention, to go under the radar.
And so, many of us are used to going unnoticed.
I find myself in unfamiliar territory.
It’s been difficult for me to access all the things I “should” be feeling. And in that is shame. Lots of shame. And more should’s.
I shouldn’t be silent.
I should be speaking up and mobilizing.
I should be enraged.
I should be active and seeking out community solidarity.
But I must also remember that what I’m feeling is a direct symptom of the very system I seek to dismantle. I must remind myself that it’s okay to feel whatever it is that is coming up for me.
This shame is learned. And it’s not mine alone. My parents, too, learned shame. And their parents before them. It is one of the insidious effects of colonization.
I share this in case any of you also find yourself struggling with what you’re feeling. If any of you are judging yourselves. There is no right way to feel.
Be curious of why you might feel the way you do. Where did you learn that? What does it remind you of? Who is benefitting from you feeling that way?
When we understand ourselves better, we often realize that we are actually united in these feelings.
Give yourself space. Seek out community when you’re ready. And let’s put an end to this racism and violence together. [Image Description: A long-haired person in a blue jacket holds up a sign that says "#Stop Asian Hate," while surrounded by others in the Asian community. Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash]