I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts or what I like to call “Your suburb’s suburb.” Our claim to fame is that we are the site of the start to the American Revolutionary War. On our town green there’s a flag with an inscription that reads “the Birthplace of Liberty.” There’s a playground less than a mile from there, where I must’ve been around 6 or 7 years old when someone first called me a chink. It was by another little boy on the playground, who was trying to throw me off one of the wooden structures we were climbing on. I remember being confused, because 1) I didn’t know what that meant, and 2) I couldn’t believe some random kid would want to be mean to me.
A couple months back I was out for an evening stroll when I saw a tall mask-less guy walking towards me. I stepped to one side to let him by, because we were in the middle of a surge and I don’t want covid. At first he was like “Com’on man, why you stepping away?” When I asked him why he didn’t have a mask, he responded “Fuck you, you fucking Asian! Why don’t you go fry some rice!!” Which, well props for originality, I still felt was slightly uncalled for. Especially when the rest of us are out here just trying not to die.
During the civil rights protests last summer, a line that really struck a chord with me was when people said that people’s “silence are being noted.” Less than a year later, I feel like I can share a bit of that sentiment. Because for me one of the things that has been most discouraging about these attacks on Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI), is the silence from our allies. I will say that a handful of friends (mostly white women) have reached out to check up on me. But the silence, particularly from other minorities, is defining. Because racism is racism. It doesn’t matter who hates who. It’s all equally stupid and disgusting.
I’ll be honest, aside from making art about these issues I don’t really know how to respond. But what I will say, is that these attacks are terrifying. This is straight up racial terrorism. We should be able to walk around our own neighborhoods without being harassed or attacked. We shouldn’t have to worry about grandma going to church because she might get murdered. I’ve been going to some of the anti hate rallies (see below) to document and bear witness. But I still have friends who are too scared to leave the house.
If you’re looking to help, here are some links to AAPI associations leading the fight against racial terrorism that have a much better plan than I do:
If you’d like to help me personally, like any artist the thing that helps me the most is to buy my art. If you can’t though (and I’ll be honest, even I can’t afford my own work), please visit my support page and make a tax deductible donation. That way I can continue to make more cool stuff.
Lastly you can always leave a comment, a like, or share this post to help me feel seen/heard and stay motivated.