A few weeks back, I shared a TikTok video I had made about getting intentionally pushed by an older white male walking out of an ice cream shop in Half Moon Bay. I had a mask on and was with my daughters, but the man stood at the door and didn't move aside. So we squeezed past, and he put his hand on my shoulder and pushed me out mumbling that I was too close. In that TikTok video, I also hinted that I thought it was wrong and unprofessional of Trump to mock Asian people in two of his recent speeches by calling Covid "Kung Flu" (which was followed with a sickening round of laughter from the audience).
My intention of sharing that video was to ask all of us to keep our eyes open for any kind of mistreatment, racism, or acts of hatrid against any person, and to stand up for even a stranger.
99.9% of the comments I received after that on TikTok were of compassion, understanding, love, and of the sentiment, "I stand with you." Just to be clear, 100% of friends from Facebook and Instagram were in support of what I had posted.
Then there are always the .1% of haters on TikTok that completely shock me and literally make my jaw drop. The people that are either "closet haters" because they can hide faceless behind a screen and type out their true colors... or they're just straight up mean. And this time, they're not just little tweens critiquing my push up form. This time... these are real adults... a real eye-opening reflection of people in this world, well, mostly Americans.
Are you ready? I don't know if you're ready.
"Maybe thank the people who started this mess."
"Wait, it's not Kung Flu?"
"Everyone wants to be a victim now, it's so trendy."
"Making up stories to promote yourself is never ok."
"You deserved to get pushed standing too close to someone without a mask." (I was wearing a mask)
"Maybe stay back 6ft fool."
"You maybe have Kung Flu... no get to close to many peoples... too dangerously."
"Do asians stand by other people when they face oppression?? NO!! so maybe when you all do that, others will standby y'all."
"LOL. At the white people meeting we voted and agreed Asian women needed to be targeted."
"Oh lord! Get a grip."
"Proof or it didn't happen."
"I call BS my wife is asian and nobody has even given the slightest hint of blaming her. Trump 2020."
"Blaming people is a great way to feel better isn't it?"
"You're not being targeted Geez."
"Really? Get over yourself."
"Should have stayed home."
I share this honestly with all of you because I want to bring AWARENESS. If you're like me, what you just read should be eye-opening and it should make you feel a little sick. Like... did you really say that? Would you say that to my face? Why would you say that? Awareness means, as much as I want to, I CANNOT just stay in my little bubble of "everyone's kind" and not admit that the world has some genuinely mean people. Awareness means I should feel disgusted enough that I want to DO SOMETHING to stop hatred and racism. Awareness means looking even bigger than myself and Asians, and seeing that I need to keep standing up for Black Lives Matter, all people of color who are targeted, women's rights and equality, LGBTQ acceptance and love...
Cue in the scene of Eliza reading Hamilton a letter from John Laurens' family: "I have so much work to do."
My point is... I'm not saying we should push anyone back. I'm not saying we should use hate to fight hate. I do not believe in violence or hurting or making situations escalate. I DO believe there are peaceful, loving, honest, and smart ways to confront these issues. And I DO believe doing nothing or turning a blind eye is not acceptable. Our work of reading, donating, signing, protesting, speaking must continue. For me right now, that looks like taking the time to respond back to each mean comment and call people out. To hold them accountable to what they're saying and defend what I think is right. It's a big step for me because I usually shy away from confrontation, but it's an attempt at doing something right and NOT staying silent when it matters. Some people have apologized. Some have come to a mutual understanding. Some have responded back with more hate, and I know when to walk away because it's not worth my energy.
What do you see?
This week, I saw a text from my friend Seran, saying my two girls were spotted from a Black Lives Matter protest on the last page of the July 2020 Marin Magazine publication.
This week, I saw my daughter's Brownie Troop complete a 3 hour racism presentation and donate $350 of their well-earned cookie money to Color of Change.
This week, I saw our community of dancers celebrate #MandelaDay, and Marci's birthday, and raise $2906 for Love2Dance Novato.
Share your story.
This Saturday, July 25, 2020, I invite you to participate in the Life In A Day YouTube Original with me. All you have to do is take your phone or camera and record highlights from your day. It can be a typical day or you might have something special planned. But it's your perspective, and you have something to share to the world.
This started in July 2010, when director Kevin Macdonald put together Life in a Day submissions from around the world and ended up with a 90 minute feature film that has been watched over 16 million times. He's doing it again 10 years later and maybe you might be featured!
I'll be submitting my Life in a Day video, and all I know is that it will highlight my Saturday morning 9:30am dance class. Come join me if you are free - www.stopdropanddance.com/classes. And if you do, please have a 8.5x11 white paper and marker handy =)
How are you surviving Covid-19? I encourage you to share your story. For more details about how you can participate in the Life in a Day documentary, click here: https://lifeinaday.youtube/
I'd like to leave you with two of my sillier TikTok videos from my outdoor adventures this week. I am grateful I got to get outside 3 times this week and accomplish 3 major trails: Eldridge Trail up to Mt. Tam, the Double Dipsea, and Muir Woods to the Panoramic Highway. These were my literal dirt paths this week... not easy by any means, but absolutely healing and much needed. Enjoy!
Surviving Covid-19 together,