Monday, July 15, 2013

It's about Race

Racial issues continue to pop up, reminding us that we're far from being done with racism and racial conflicts in this country or the world. From Zimmerman/Trayvon to the KTVU's fake Asian names, we're constantly reminded that racism does exist in one form or another, often disguised as something else or a benign "joke." And sadly for many people, racism doesn't really matter or they don't really care because it doesn't touch them, or affect them. I understand human nature -- we only care about things that directly or indirect affect us. Many people in the US are not affected by racism, so why should they care? As an Asian-American, my point of view is obviously different.

But as some wise man once said, "if we keep silent, we're then just as guilty, as if we're now siding with the wrong."  Do you believe racism is wrong? Then speak up, even if racism doesn't affect you personally. In fact, your voice would carry even more weight, as you're demonstrating the truth, whether it affects you or not.  I often find men who help trumpeting women's issues, or straights who support gay causes, or white folks who champion civil rights help empower the causes, demonstrating these are universal issues, and that we're all one voice regardless of our backgrounds.

It's okay if you really are ambivalent because it doesn't affect you. I understand. But when you start to apologize for it or find a way to say "oh, it's not racism. It's just a joke" then you're getting really close to agreeing with racism or any of the society issues we're facing. And I will make sure that I'll let you know you're wrong.


No comments: