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 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.
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,