To the 24 million Asian people living in America,
The year is 2022 and we are 3 years into the COVID-19 pandemic, and 4-5 years into the US-China trade war, slowly transforming into a cold war.
If you do not see the problem now, you will likely never see the problem: the problem is us. We are a people who are not wanted here. You feel it everyday. You walk out of the house and go to work and catch a cold glance from a stranger on the street: a so-called “fellow American”. But they do not see you that way.
You go to work and interact with coworkers and customers and, while some are warm, others treat you in a cold, standoff-ish manner. They have not uttered the word “rice nigger”, “brown monkey”, “gook”, or “chink”, yet you feel something is awry. You feel less than human.
During your break or after work, you check social media or watch the news and you hear of another senseless act of violence perpetrated against someone who looks like you (or something like you)…
…or another powerful American politician talking about how some Asian country is America’s next adversary.
Americans can’t tolerate people from places different from them, speaking with accents that aren’t quite white. You shake your head, maybe react with some anger, but your frustration with these hate crimes nevertheless subsides into impotence: “It can’t be helped.” At home, you watch as your children become “true Americans” & struggle to communicate with you. Maybe you are the children. Maybe you turn on some entertainment to wash away the day’s pain. Only one thing is certain: a part of you is dying.
How can you be free? Is this what the American Dream is really about? At least it’s better than in the homeland, right?
What if it could be? What if you did not have to leave the house looking over your shoulder for the next potential mass shooting?
The next gruesome hammer murder?
The next self-hating banana attack?
The next rampage against Asian sisters?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed […] with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among [people], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.The US Declaration of Independence
You know your life is not worth more or less than anyone else’s, yet you are treated daily as if your life is worth less than an American’s. Aren’t you an American too? If not, aren’t you human too?
Alone, each of us can do very little to stop this madness, from the hate crimes, to the way our children are taught to be ashamed of their skin, faces, and ethnicities, to the way our people are locked away for rebelling against it all, then thrown on planes, & sent to a homeland they have no knowledge of. But together, we have something unstoppable. If we exercise our American rights to own guns, uniting to put an end to the tyranny of Americans, then we can make it known that no Asian person, no matter their color, their language, age, size, sex, born in Asia or not, can be killed with impunity. We can build a future where our children can look back and be proud of our struggle to be free.
That is the hope of the Pan Asian Harmony Society and that is the future we work toward building everyday. May we all be proud to be Asian.