Monday, June 22, 2020

Constant Discord

I’m tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter (I’m not against it and if people want to peacefully protest about it, I’m all for it). I’m totally against police brutality and I think there has been a lot of wrong violent acts by the police against many people besides black people. Having it constantly on the news feels like it is being shoved down my throat. I think the media is at fault for fanning the flames and keeping this discord continually stirred up.

I don’t feel like this is the way to make change. It is making me feel tired and resentful. I’m tired of hearing the words “white fragility” and “anti-racism” in every other sentence on the news, on my podcasts, and even in emails from companies. These are just buzz words and many companies/people are just being followers instead of leaders. I’ve started to avoid the news, podcasts that constantly harp on this subject, and even deleting any email that refers to this subject. Enough already!

Let’s face it, people are going to have prejudices because it is human nature. I don’t believe we will ever be able to eradicate it. People are prejudiced towards people’s weight. If you are large, you may be called fat or obese. If you are too skinny, you may be called anorexic or bulimic. If you are short, you are called shorty and teased. If you are a certain age, people may assume you are too young or too old to do something correctly.

My father was 100% Chinese and my mother was (50% Chinese and some Cherokee, English and who knows what else). This made my physical characteristics look very Asian. I am often asked, “Where are you from?” When I answer that I was born in New York, they tell me that is not what they want to know. What they really want to know is my cultural heritage. I don’t hear many people ask white or black people this question. Does this make me matter more than them? No. I was one of the few Asians in my school career. Many teachers treated me differently because of their expectations. They expected me to be a genius and when I didn’t show this ability, they were disappointed in me and tended to ignore me as if I didn’t exist. I encountered bullying on a daily basis until I left for college. As an adult, I still face prejudice at least once a month.

I had ancestors who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad who were treated like slaves. (My husband had ancestors who worked in the cotton mills who also were treated like slaves.)

Depending on what is going on in history, many different cultures and races were not treated very well. When the Irish came to the United States during the potato famine, they were treated pretty harshly by people already here in the states. During WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam War, Asians are treated very poorly. Even today, older people with strong memories of those wars may treat me with distrust or dislike.

During the Exclusion Act, Chinese were treated unfairly. It was the first immigration law that excluded a whole ethnic group.

I don’t think that protests and violence and constantly talking about this is going to make a difference. I don’t think buying items from people of color is the way to make a difference. In fact, I feel like you are discriminating against other people. I want to buy things because of their quality and if they fill a need that I have not because of the sellers skin color. I think people need to act in a way they can be role models for others. If a company doesn’t have the same values that I have, then I will go to a different company that has the same product of the same quality. I don’t need to confront anyone or blast a company for what they believe in. I will show my opinion by my financial support or lack of financial support. If no one buys from a company because of their values, then they will be forced to close.

I don’t believe that just because I don’t agree with you, that we can’t be friends. I have friends that feel strongly about the Black Lives Matter movement and that is okay because that is something, they want to believe in. I just don’t want them to continually try to force me into believing what they believe in. I support other things, but I don’t try to shove it down everyone else’s throats to make them support things I believe in.

I hope that this constant discord can stop and we can make changes in an appropriate way. Yes, it may take time but eventually we can make a difference.

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