Friday, March 19, 2021

Dear Asian American Friends

Dear Asian-American friends,

Hi. I care about you. In light of the recent events of terror leveled at Asians in America, I'm worried about you. And I want to make sure you know exactly how I feel.

I am also very fond of Asians who live in Asia. 

Let me be clear. I see you.

And I need to apologize if you have ever felt unseen by me.

Because the truth is that when I look at you, I don't always see you as Asian.

You might carry Asian bloodlines. You might have been born in Asia, or even lived there for a time.

But that's not what I see first. 

What I see is 

a friend, 

a sister or brother, 

a fellow traveler on Spaceship Earth, 

a companion on this journey called life. 

I rarely think of you as Korean or Vietnamese or Thai or Indian or Filipino or Chinese or Malaysian or Japanese. Just as I hope you never think of me as German or Irish or French Canadian or English.

(Spoilers: I am all of the above.)

When I am with my Asian friends, I swim in my clothes and put bunny ears on grown men. 

In my eyes, you are you, a fascinating human, and I am me. And while our ancestries add interesting dimensions to our friendship, they don't define us. Our diversity just adds to the love. 

* * * * *

But what the last year - and especially this past week - has taught me is that there are some people in this world - in our country - who do not share that love.

There are hateful people who have teased and targeted and terrorized and murdered people like you for simply being who you are. 

I am particularly fond of little Asian girls with shining black hair. They make me smile. 

And as a white person against whom the haters have not yet turned, I realize my privilege. And I"m sick about it. 

I am angry and ashamed and frustrated and sick.

Eating with Asians, I have learned, is serious business and I do my best to live up to the challenge. 

So while I may not always see you as Asian, I am seeing you that way today. 

I'm seeing you as part of a group of people who are under attack. 

I'm speaking out against that evil.

Asian sunshine.

And I'm reaching out to you, one at a time, to tell you how much I care about you

As a friend,

As an American Asian,

And as the lovely human being that you are. 

XO Diane

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