I don’t quite have it in me to start going into my thoughts about the recent spate of anti-Asian violence. There are a lot. Even in my journals, I struggle to articulate how I feel and what I want in the midst of everything, on top of, you know, the pandemic that is still happening.
I have been scared of anti-Asian racism since February of last year, before the shutdown reached the United States but after Asian businesses started suffering as a result of racist coronavirus rhetoric. After spending over a month without stepping foot outside my apartment building, I emerged only to get an antibody test, and instead of enjoying the beautiful weather like my partner wanted, I begged to go home as fast as possible, because I was scared that someone would spot us – 2 Asian people, wearing masks – and, at best, yell at us.
There have been… too many photos and videos and stories of anti-Asian incidents in the news, especially right here in New York City. With each one, I can’t help wondering:
What would I have done if I saw this happening to someone else on the street?
What would I have done if it were happening to me?
Honestly, after some hard honesty with myself, I don’t think I am mentally prepared to handle either of these situations, and I would go home feeling guilty and bad and a whole storm of negative emotions.
That’s why I was very glad to sign up for the free trainings offered by Hollaback in partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
Today, I went through “How to respond to harassment for people experiencing anti-Asian/American harassment training” and I am signed up for “Bystander intervention to stop anti-Asian/American harassment and xenophobia”.
Hollaback also offers trainings that are not specific to Asian/American harassment that I recommend as well.
In the training I attended today, 91% of attendees who responded to the in-session poll reported identifying as women. Many people in the Q&A expressed a desire to see more men in attendance. I hope that more men are in attendance at the bystander intervention training, as men often have more power to prevent or stop or de-escalate harassment incidents.
If you are interested in one or more of these trainings, or know someone who has expressed a feeling of “I wish I could help, I just wouldn’t know what to do”, please take a look at the dates available and share with the people in your life. It is a free Zoom webinar, where you do not have to participate or show yourself on camera; there are optional polls that you may respond to if you’d like.
It can be difficult to make the time for a training like this, so if it is difficult for you, I recommend starting with Hollaback’s bystander resources, which covers their 5 Ds: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, Direct. There are many great infographics on this page, as well as many on Instagram that share the same information. The bottom of the first link above also has many great links to resources.
Please stay safe out there, and take good care of yourselves.
Take a break from the news. Drink lots of water. Wear a mask when you leave your home.
If you have good news, cute animals, or funny memes to share in this difficult time, please do! I could really use it. 🙂