I understand why I can’t go to protests, but I just wanted to express why I feel strong enough to risk my safety. I am not questioning your support of the movement, but I am questioning how you choose to show your support. Yes, my safety is important, but I believe that the effect my presence can have is worth the risk. I have been following news of other protesters and I understand how dangerous it can be especially now, but I would take all precautions because my presence and active voice is what’s more important to me. I understand that I won’t be able to go to this particular protest because of how dangerous it really is.
I always hear you talking about how ridiculous the racism that we, and other communities, face is. I want you to understand that the movement is part of the solution for the future and I want to be able to be a part of that. I have been supporting the movement from home for a while now through petitions and spreading awareness and resources and I will continue to do so.
I completely understand the concern of being exposed to large groups right now. However, when I talked to 哥哥 and 姐姐 about how I should start this conversation, they already knew that there was a low chance that you would let me go. We recognize that you take a more passive and safe stance on topics like this and that is where I see the problem. To support the movement, but not do anything to actually make a difference is not actually supporting it. Especially because this movement is a battle against centuries of systemic racism, any and every thing that we do as individuals is essential to the fight. We can’t just sit back and watch what happens to the people who are risking their lives for this movement and say, “Wow, that’s a shame” while getting back to our lives. Can’t you see that if we do everything that we can we will see a future where people’s livelihoods will no longer be threatened by the very system that is meant to protect them?
A starting point is reflecting on your own prejudices against the black community. Historically, Asian communities hold anti-black sentiment and I have seen this from you first hand. This will make you uncomfortable to read, but it is true. I know that you will avoid the predominantly black neighborhoods because you’re afraid of how dangerous it could be. I know that you will quicken your pace as you walk by a black man. I know that you hold these prejudices whether you realize it or not. And I know you won’t discriminate against a black person intentionally, but this behavior has shown me that you do so unintentionally. So, within yourself is where you can start to make change. Read books, listen to podcasts, go online and learn about the experiences of people who don’t look like us. Just because we are also people of color, it will never mean that we understand what any black person faces on a daily basis. But we can do our part
and educate ourselves on how the system fails black and brown communities at a disproportionate rate so that we can inform our everyday decisions.
I know that you support the movement, but I’m asking you right now to reevaluate how you show that support. Recognize that it takes being uncomfortable to actually grow and change. If at any point reading this you felt offended or attacked, sit in that and ask yourself why that is. I don’t want you to focus on the various risks that using your voice can hold. I want you to see how valuable one person’s voice can be because when more people actually show up for the black community, our voices will be heard and changes will be made.
With a hopeful heart,
Christy is a Chinese American San Francisco native who loves to read, bake, and draw.