i belong here. i deserve to take up space.

I was going to say I don’t think Asian Americans have had a harder time than this recent pandemic spate of hate crimes, except I think, I know, there are have been periods of violence before. Of course, there’s Vincent Chin’s murder, but there were also periods of time in the 1900s or so (sorry, not a historian. I’m worse. I’m past middle-aged, voracious reader with a weak-ish memory, so my recall is not perfect), where Chinatowns were burned to the ground. So. The racism has always been there, but with the pandemic, we are all socially isolated and we actually need social interactions to keep extreme beliefs in check. There’s a reason why there tends to be more conservative views in rural and suburbs, and more progressive ones in urban areas. When you live in a densely populated area, you are forced to interact with each other. (I mean this very generally, and I’m totally stealing this explanation). For some reason, the universe’s crazy frequency is locked in on Asians. But I think this awfulness will die down.

But all that reasonable stuff aside, this has been an incredibly disheartening time. Personally, my anxiety has been jacked up to an all time high. I can tell my choices (like skipping the subway) didn’t make sense to some friends (Asian and non-Asian). I now carry 2-3 mini weapons in my purse when I leave the house. I kind of experienced this in the beginning of the pandemic when Asian peeps were just getting punched, not killed around March 2020. One of my cousins (a tiny female) got sucker-punched in midtown. I ordered a blonde wig and mace (the wig was absolutely ridiculous and was returned). So the anxiety is real. And I know I’m not the first to feel like a moving target because of how I present to the world, but it’s eye-opening. The silver lining is it gives me radical empathy for people who walk around the world with the fear all the time. Jees.

As of this writing, there have been three racially targeted massacres this week, two of which targeting Asians, one targeting Black Americans. Is it guns? Is it racism? How are they going to fix this one?

I have no idea.

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