MINNEAPOLIS — I want to speak candidly for a moment. This is my opinion, and my experience. I want to take this time to be vulnerable with you.
In the wake of the shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead we're just now getting to know a little bit more about the victims. Six of those people were women of Asian descent.
Since that tragic day, there have been many calls to #StopAsianHate, despite the sheriff's department in that Atlanta suburb calling it, "the shooter having a 'bad day.'"
Since then, there have been so many positive messages being shared on social media. Calls have been made to check in on your Asian American and Pacific Islander friends.
Personally, I have received many emails, text messages from people asking me if I was okay. Some have told me they are here for me. Some have said they cannot imagine what it is like to be an Asian woman right now, to be witnessing this atrocity.
But the thing is, I feel like there's more that needs to be done.
While I deeply appreciate the kind-hearted messages, sympathy is a salve that only soothes pain temporarily.
Providing space to talk about this is no doubt, extremely important. However, we need to ask ourselves, what could we have done differently?
What can we do differently from now on?
For so long, even just in my personal experience, casual racism against Asian Americans has been present. For so long, many of us didn't speak up for various reasons. Some of us didn't want to rock the boat. Some of us wanted to be polite. Some of us wanted to be respectful about what others had to say.
However, respect needs to work both ways. If there was respect for us, racist comments would have never been said. Racist jokes would have never been made.
In my humble opinion, to be a true ally is to have been around to empower and corroborate when those things happened around us and to us.
So, I have a request. Moving forward, could you be the encouragement that we need when we decide to speak up?
Could you be the witness that we need - to back us up?
And when hate inevitably happens again, those who are wanting to do something about it: please, stand with us.