Racism is an ugly, cancerous tumor. It's a cancer and a disease, equally killer as a pandemic. But unlike a vaccine or a pill, the only way to kill it is through human compassion, empathy and willpower. A mental and cognizant choice to kill it, each and every day. It requires personal diagnosis, and a willingness to diagnose it to begin with. It starts with the self. There's no doctor for this one. As Americans, we bear witness to these attacks, murders and massacres in person as community residents, and as citizens on the news. But I ask: at what point do we say, enough is enough? How much more death and tragedy, as a result of someone's skin color, their unique names, their unique foods and cuisines, their spoken languages, harmful and demeaning stereotypes perpetuated about them through no fault of their own, is needed to change the national and local discussions around engrained racism in our nation's DNA?
Seemingly small acts, like mocking an accent, wearing someone's cultural dress as a Halloween costume, asking "what type of Asian are you", blaming someone's race as a reason you didn't get an opportunity, are racist. These things happen at the family dinner table, in social settings, in professional networks, in the media we consume. Verbal and physical assault, and murder, are not requirements of racist acts. Stereotypes and ignorance are what these small acts are, and the more small acts like this are perpetuated in society and our culture, the more they reduce the humanity of entire groups of people...to the point where people feel emboldened to verbally or physically assault, and possibly kill them.
Racism and hate is everywhere, towards so many racial, ethnic, religious and gender non-conforming communities. Humanity is not a political issue. A desire to just LIVE, to just BE, is not a political issue. Please don't turn your back to what is happening. If you do, if WE all do, more people will be hurt and possibly killed. And there will be no amount of prayers, apologies or condemnations that can be expressed that will bring them back.
With pain, love and hope in my heart,
Founder, Society Nine