With everything that has been going on these past few weeks, the world has been in shock. Though George Floyd is not the first person subjected to such inhumane treatment, seeing a police officer put a knee to his neck while he screams that he is unable to breathe is a visual that cannot be forgotten.
It is sheer brutality, abuse of power, and a gross lack of humanity.
I am not Black. Though I am outraged by what has been happening, as a young Asian woman, I may not fully understand how this truly feels. Regardless, I stand against racism. I empathize, and I am hurting alongside you and with you.
If any of you have been feeling angry about everything that has been happening, you have every right to be. In fact, we should be angry.
But how can we utilize this anger?
Sign petitions. Donate. Protest. Educate ourselves. Research. Read. Watch documentaries. Stream fundraiser YouTube videos. Be curious. Start from home: have tough conversations that bring us face-to-face with our own internal racism. Use your platform, though we should not judge a person based on their frequency of speaking up on social media. Let us continue to spread awareness and share information. Let your voice be heard. Support businesses. Check in on your friends. Although sharing our own experiences can be a comfort when we share problems with friends, the pressing need right now is to affirm instead that Black Lives Matter.
Say it louder.
Say their names.
Though undeniably all lives do matter, this is not the main focus right now. Additionally, giving the spotlight to one race does not mean that your life matters any less. Instagram account sandatlas phrased it best: “If one house is burning and the other isn’t, would you rush to help the house that is on fire or the one that isn’t? Are you going to rush to help the people that have been oppressed and constantly disregarded, or the people who can do daily tasks without fearing for their life?” When someone is unable to jog without being seen as suspicious, unable to rest in their own home without the fear of being shot, and is threatened with violence just because of the color of their skin, this damn right better be our problem right now.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Do not turn a blind eye and say that this is not your problem, because it is. This is not an issue that affects one section of our society—the fight against racism is everyone’s problem and responsibility. In fact, many of us may have felt subjected to preferred racial preference treatment in our own countries and counties.
The world is waking up. Let’s not only talk about racism when it’s “trendy” or in the news. Set long-term goals and plans to address this in our hearts, in our homes, and in our world.
Some of us may not fully understand, but we stand with you. Let us stand together.
Anti-racism is not a trend—it is a life-long movement.