While watching the horrible video of George Floyd’s “arrest” on the news, I couldn’t help but also try to get in the mindset of the Asian officer Tou Thao, watching everything unfold in front of him. He seemed silent, looking around, at times watching with the detachment of a bystander who just happened to stumble upon the scene while out buying milk. He looked like the very illustration of a man who was just looking to get on with his day. This, to me, embodied the attitude of the Asian community as a whole. “Not our fight,” they said. “I just work here.” “Go along to get along.” “I’m just here doing my own thing.” “Don’t make waves so we can make money.”
I’m not talking about the Asian activists who are out there fighting against police brutality and racial injustice. They are awesome and far braver than I. But too many of us Asians have been sheltered, shielded literally by black and brown communities from a barrage of overt aggressions. These aggressions hit us sometimes — “Go back to your country!” “You guys are dirty and disgusting!” “Apologize for coronavirus!”(not linking to Fox News) — but are often expressed as microaggressions instead of outright hostility. As a result, Asians often bend over backwards trying to explain to white people that “we aren’t those kinds of Asians that you don’t like, whomever they may be” or taking on all of the burden to make white people like us.
Many of us, including me, have been silent for too long for fear of alienating our white allies. We can’t do that anymore. For my fellow Asians who align against the Black Lives Matter movement, please take a good look in the mirror, and I mean that literally. What do you think the man whom you support sees?
I pledge to do better. I hope my fellow Asians do the same.
That said, I just can’t with this right now. It’s too much of an easy dunk. This is from @Bangkokfoodieofficial’s Facebook page.
Look, most of Thailand has no idea about race relations in the U.S. And they clearly have their own issues with colorism. But at the very least, I hope this company donates some of their proceeds to the Black Lives Matter movement that they are championing here.