A white man targeted and murdered Asian women yesterday.
The perverse explanation he has given, and that the media has reported, blames his victims for being killed. It is absurd. It makes perfect sense. In this country, Asian women can’t even be murdered without being cast as sexual fantasies.
“How are you doing? ❤️”
The first message surprises me. I don’t realize why I received it. “I’m doing great!” I reply.
I had read the headline about the mass shooting of Asian women in Atlanta last night, but it had registered for me as a blip in the microwave radiation which permeates my life.
Another hate crime.
Another white male mass murderer who gets to explain why.
I have become accustomed to thinking about my identity in terms of erasure. Asians aren’t the protagonists. Bisexuals don’t really exist. Women should be seen and not heard. We have been asking for representation as if we are asking for an invitation to the party. But erasure is an act of violence. Erasure suggests we are meant to be scrubbed, burned, excised out of the narrative. Erasure takes a living person and obliterates her.
Yes, I have been more frightened for my safety since the president uttered the words “kung flu.” What a perfect embodiment of our status in American society— our demonization and our victimization is a haha lol. Throughout the last year, I have crossed the street to stay six feet away, and I have looked back to make sure I wasn’t being followed.
Then again, we have always been victims of hate crimes that can't be classified as hate crimes, been disenfranchised in a way that doesn’t get called voter suppression, placed in concentration camps that don’t get called concentration camps.
The “we” I am thinking of is all the people who have been victimized by white supremacy. As more white friends ask how I am doing throughout the day, I am transported back to the BLM protests, when I was the one wondering if I should reach out to my black friends to offer support or if that would be another weight on their shoulders. I am transported back to the protests against child separation at the border. The Muslim ban executive orders. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The tidal wave of #MeToo accounts. The Pulse nightclub shooting. And on and on it goes right to the birth of this nation.
The question we keep asking ourselves is, “Your country hates you, but are you okay?”
How many times will we ask it?
I’m doing great. It’s 81 degrees and breezy here in San Antonio. Today, I checked items off my to-do list; contemplated which Tex-Mex restaurant I wanted to try; and practiced yoga outside while the sun oozed like honey in the sky.
I keep a pinned note on my phone entitled “Each time I am confronted by my mortality.” About once a week, it comes like an avalanche and I am seized from my body by the inevitability of nonexistence. I write it down, then I move on.
Today, I have three entries: On a walk. In the car. While listening to a podcast about Fascism. I don't realize until 9:05pm that the multiple entries for the day might have something to do with the murders of six Asian women.
I am not okay. My rage has become so woven into my skin that I hardly feel the needle’s prick. I am anxious about driving through a state that flaunts guns and the Confederacy in its public spaces. Sometimes I look at my white/male friends and I think: I resent you so much that I want to hurt you to make you feel my pain, but I have been trained to see through your eyes. You are trying. You are caring. You want things to change, too.
I am looking for a way out of the tunnel, but I see only ancient rock poised to crush us.
All I can think to do now is reach my arms out and grab a hold of anyone I can. I don’t know if they are supporting me or I am supporting them. We are all lost and tired and desperate. How do we escape a tunnel through which we have been trudging our entire lives? We march on. It is the inexorable march which infuriates me. We keep marching until our number comes up, and one of us falls. Then, hopefully, the others pick her up, or we carry her name. What else can we do? We march on.
Soon Chung Park, age 74
Hyun Jung Grant, age 51
Suncha Kim, age 69
Yong Yue, age 63
Delaina Ashley Yaun, age 33
Paul Andre Michels, age 54
Xiaojie Tan, age 49
Daoyou Feng, age 44