It’s been one year since our lives drastically changed.
I say “our lives” because the pandemic hit differently for everyone, everywhere. For me, it was the moment the gyms closed, the grocery stores emptied out, masks came onto the scene, and life as I knew it ended.
I remember just taking it all one day at a time. Would we be back in the office soon? What about that photoshoot we had planned for next week? You know, just like simple stuff. At this point, all I really knew about Coronavirus was that it originated in China, but I didn’t really think twice about it.
Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a a surge in hate crimes against Asians.
I didn’t want to believe it at first, and the media didn’t really cover it, so it was easy to brush off or forget about. But the reality is, just because you don’t hear about it, or just because it didn’t happen to you, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
I normally use my platform to speak about all things fitness and health – but I cannot stay silent on this matter any longer.
You see, many Asians are taught to lay low, put our heads down in the face of controversy, and fight back only by working hard – never by raising our voices or our fists. I’m Chinese Vietnamese American and I was taught to be silent. Be grateful.
In fact, a couple months ago, when I first wanted to post about the 91-year-old Thai grandpa who got murdered in the streets of Oakland Chinatown or the innocent Filipino father who got sliced in the face in a NYC subway, I asked my parents for their thoughts. Their first reaction? They looked down and shook their heads. I could see sadness in their eyes, (especially because Oakland Chinatown was a special place for my family, we grocery shopped there every weekend) but they didn’t want me to make a fuss about it. They said it was probably all random events. They didn’t want me to upset anyone.
But just this past week, with the mass shooting, and the continued crimes, my dad came to me. He asked if I could help.
For anyone who is debating “but was it racially motivated?” or “but _____ have it worse!” can you please stop?? Like, stop operating on a race level for a second and look on the human level. INNOCENT HUMANS ARE BEING KILLED. Kids now don’t have mothers. Husbands will never see their wives again. Or is it too hard to feel? Is it more fun to fight?
I am constantly SHOCKED when I read the comments under news stories. It’s full of hate. I see blame shifting. I see racist assumptions. I see people “standing up” for others by pushing others down. I see people comparing atrocities like it’s some type of game.
If you want to know how I feel about all of this, here it is: When we can’t work together, we all lose. Because as we become more divided, hate wins.
So yes of course, let’s #stopasianhate! I honestly cannot believe some of these personal stories that you guys have shared with me. It’s only a small fraction of the hundreds of heart breaking DMs flooding in. But also, please, let’s work on stopping the hate towards ANY group of people. Let’s focus on the real evil here – our lack of understanding for one another.
Below, I’ve shared some of the heartbreaking stories that your fellow POPsters have personally DM’d me. These are real people, real stories, and everyday experiences. If you don’t know what to do to #stopasianhate, please begin simply by taking the time to read the stories below.
Sending love, strength, and resilience to all those who shared their stories.
If you have a story you want to share, please comment below. ❤️