Each Sunday, I’m working my way through my experiences with race. I’ll share stories and memories from throughout my life. I know I’ll encounter moments of growth that I wish I could relive. I’ll also have to think back on choices that I wish I could remake. Come join me each week.
This week, I was all set to reflect on my mindset after high school as I prepared to go to college.
This week, I was drafting in my head ways to recount how determination and idealism became my core ideals.
This week, a man killed eight people, six of them of Asian descent.
This week, the world broke open for many people I love and care about.
This week doesn’t mark some new low or new beginning or discovery. We’ve been here for generations. It’s the mark of a chronic and critical disease.
I’ve been carrying these ideas around for a few days, not really doing anything with them. I’m not quite sure where to put them or what to do with them. But I do know this:
I need to be a better set of eyes and ears for my friends, my colleagues, my students and my families.
I need to redouble my efforts to un-“other” others.
Especially my students and their families.
I need to keep reminding them that Diwali and Eid and Lunar New Year bear as much consideration as Easter,
that speaking English with an accent is a badge of honor, of persistence, of sacrifice,
that everyone deserves to have people pronounce their names correctly, and not just their English ones,
that they can write story characters beyond a white default,
that a bitmoji version of themselves doesn’t need to be blond and white to be beautiful,
that they are seen, and valued, and acknowledged, and important.
I’ve got work to do. We’ve got work to do.