A Statement on Black Lives
I stand in solidarity with everyone fighting for Black lives now, and with Black activists who have been fighting for social justice for generations. I recognize the toll of systemic injustice on all Black people. I call for justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breanna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and all those who’ve lost their lives to police brutality. I am grateful to Black people because I have benefitted from advancements in civil rights won through Black struggle. I acknowledge that my model minority status has been used to deny the reality of injustice experienced by Black Americans. I recognize the work I need to do as an Asian American to check my privilege, increase my cross-racial solidarity, and confront anti-blackness within the Asian Pacific American community. I recognize that this statement is just the beginning.
A Note to Self
Here are a few ideas I’ve been thinking about over the past two weeks. This has helped me feel more grounded, less reactionary, less needy for validation, more authentic, and more helpful.
Less is more.
Choose quality over quantity.
You don’t have to resolve them. You don’t have to weigh in much of the time. Know your values. Feel secure in the actions that you are taking. It’s OK to hold multiple contradictions, and to care for multiple communities, issues, and concerns.
Things are complicated.
It’s normal to feel a lot of feelings right now. Different people will be on different pages. Everyone falls short sometimes. Don’t sweat the small stuff. In five years, what will you want to remember about this time?
It’s noisy out there.
Opinions are just that. Remember who’s been doing the work all along. Listen to people whose insights are grounded in practices that you respect. Turn down the volume on distractions.
One step at a time.
When problems feel overwhelming and abstract, identify small concrete steps. Start there.
It’s healthy to take breaks from social media.
Get off the hamster wheel of reacting, sharing, checking, scrolling (/feeling outraged, judgmental, exhausted, numb). There is plenty of information out there. Balance sharing with synthesizing new information and formulating deliberate action steps.
Know your spheres of agency, your voice, your platforms, and the differences between them.
Social media is just one tool. Turning off the firehose affords the mental focus to re-center and act in other spheres of agency. Within each sphere, find your lane. You don’t have to occupy every lane.
Don’t forget to balance the negative with the positive.
There are many reasons to feel and express rage, despair, grief, outrage, and sorrow. And… there are many reasons to feel connection, gratitude, love, joy, transformation, and hope.
When the negative feels personal, pervasive, and permanent, it is critical to our sense of hope—and to our resilience and sustainability—to affirm the realness of the positive.