Regardless of Trump’s disrespectful track record, this one was particularly cutting, as I myself am a Chinese American. Even starting in January, Asian-owned businesses were already getting hit hard with a slowdown in business. The xenophobia has kept many people away from Asian stores and areas, leading close to 80 percent loss of business.
I will also note that many of us refer to the 1918 flu pandemic as the Spanish flu, which we could instead refer to as the 1918 flu pandemic. I have more empathy now that that probably did not feel good to some people of Spanish heritage. I think we are constantly evolving to notice how racism is deeply embedded in all of us, to the point that sometimes we don’t even notice our own actions.
I see both a regression of tolerance from our nation’s leader, but also a rise of awareness happening within culture between the day-to-day people of this country. That gives me hope. A close family member told me that while he was minding his own business, using the bathroom, a stranger walked up to him and intrusively looked him up and down and said, “You don’t have corona, do you?”
I was at my friend’s house, and her dad was making fun of “the Asian people wearing masks in Costco.” It hurt my heart to hear someone I know joke about that, even to my face. I think a lot of these microaggressions are not intentional, but come from a place of ignorance or lack of empathy. The good news with that is that things can change.
My sister’s colleague has reported vandalism on Asian American storefronts. This breaks my heart, as small business owners of all heritages are already taking such a hard hit. Needing to deal with both business stresses and this type of hatred is a tragedy. A coalition called Chinese for Affirmative Action has cited that within a 24-hour period [on March 19], they tracked 40 cases of violence against Asian-Americans related to the coronavirus.
I have been coping with these uncertain times by bouncing between binging on The Morning Show and Westworld, to a lot of FaceTiming with my loved ones, to home workouts by GoTribe Fitness, to creating art that helps to funnel resources to others. Giving back is my way of channeling my restless energy, so I feel like I am being proactive with what I can control. I am also holding weekly Monday Night livestreams called MILCK Mondays. The concerts pop up on my YouTube homepage and are free. For those who can and want to donate, we provide a donation link that directly funds Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
[To allies], if you see something, say something. Speak out for us when you see something unjust or hateful.
Chinese/Filipino/African-American rapper and entrepreneur