ArticlesAsians Please Speak Up

Those who know me, know I’m not one to open up and talk about my feelings easily. Sometimes, I hold in my thoughts and expressions for fear of being judged. I save those thoughts for people who’ve known me long enough. Sometimes, I have to put pen to paper (or rather, finger to keyboard) to express myself, so here it goes. The past few weeks have been rough. There has been some great stuff that’s...
Van B. NguyenJuly 2, 202039815 min

Those who know me, know I’m not one to open up and talk about my feelings easily. Sometimes, I hold in my thoughts and expressions for fear of being judged. I save those thoughts for people who’ve known me long enough. Sometimes, I have to put pen to paper (or rather, finger to keyboard) to express myself, so here it goes. The past few weeks have been rough. There has been some great stuff that’s happened in my life, but it’s also been a rough three months. When the pandemic began, I found myself drained from the news.

We had people in power that were ignorant in how they used the phrase “Chinese virus” vs “Covid-19.” Other ignorant people, and my God there are a lot of them, followed suit, and even took action by harassing and physically attacking Asians all around the world. I was infuriated. I was sickened with the hate that spreads so easily in this world. I was truly frightened for my family, especially my aging parents. If you haven’t heard of these, do yourself a favor and google it.

The news and quarantine, combined, were just too much, I had to turn away in order to calm myself. Then, via social media, I heard about the Ahmaud Arbery video. I was absolutely gutted. It’s not normal for us to watch a man, a black man, be chased and gunned down as if it’s just another day for that twisted father and son in Georgia. It’s not normal for us to watch a George Floyd plea for his life as an officer of the law presses his knee down onto his neck. Philando Castile, Oscar Grant, Breonna Taylor… How is this okay? It’s not. It’s not normal for us to watch. It’s not normal for us to read. It’s not normal. That is the problem. Somehow, in our society, it’s become normal. It sickens me how often we’ve seen a black person beaten or killed on camera by cops.

People are starting to finally open their eyes and open their mouths to speak up against the injustice we see time and time again against our black citizens. I hope the movement that’s happening right now doesn’t fade. As I’ve said, we’ve seen these videos again and again, and we’ve seen people call out black lives matter for a period of time, and then it fades.

We can no longer allow this to fade until it happens again. We have to make a change. It won’t happen overnight, we all know that, but we have to keep the fight going until we see change. We have to work toward it so that our children and their children can live in that beauty. That means change within the company you keep. Change within your own community.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, this is not just a black vs white issue. This is about human decency. This is about right and wrong. There are racist people and then there are ignorant people. The racists know they’re racist and they’re not going to hide it. The ignorant people are ones who don’t realize or think they’re being racist with their actions or inaction. That includes minorities.

As an Asian-American woman, I am ashamed. I am ashamed of my parents. I am ashamed of some members of my family. I am ashamed of some of my friends.

Someone had asked me why these protests? Why weren’t there any protests for Asians? What good does it do? Why should we care?… WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

Do you see the ignorance in these questions?

Far too long, there’s been a division with minorities. This has to stop. The microaggressions between minorities have to stop. I’m talking about my parents, my uncles, my aunts. I’m talking about your parents, your uncles, your aunts. African-Americans have been demonized and portrayed unfairly in the media and our judicial system for as long as I can remember. For that, it fed our parents this fear and inability to see that they are just like us. That we are all trying to live a good life. That we all bleed red.

Black culture has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. I have friends who used to call me ‘Pac because I always jammed to his music. Friends called me BunB because my name rhymes with bun. I love black culture. I know you do too. So speak up for the movement. Speak to your parents. Who knows if you’ll be able to change your parents or uncle’s way of thinking, but you should try.

They need to be reminded that we’ve experienced prejudice and injustice as well. They need to be reminded that African-Americans were on the frontlines fighting for civil rights. They need to be reminded that despite skin color and language, we have a shared history. The majority pitted us against each other when they call us the “model minority.” I can tell you right now, the model minority is bullshit. I’ll raise my hand and tell you I’m anything but. That is what they seek to do. Divide us.

If the minorities are divided, the majority wins. We can’t lose. Therefore, we have to work together.

These attacks and deaths on black lives are from an institution that is supposed to serve and protect. If shooting and killing unarmed black men is a way of protecting, I want none of it.

Because black lives matter.

Original Source: This article is from the website “Medium”. You can check out this article and more like it on the link below.
Link to Original Article: https://medium.com/@vanb_nguyen/asians-please-speak-up-b3e847b45055

Van B. Nguyen

A first-generation Vietnamese-American, Van B. Nguyen is a Texas native writer/director whose recent short films, SIGN and THANKSGIVING, are currently circulating festivals. Growing up on a steady diet of things she shouldn't have watched, she knew from an early age that storytelling was her jam. She has a feature spec, EXTRACTION, under option and active development. Most recently, her pilot CASUALTIES was selected to be among the top 20 of unproduced pilots by female writers for the WeForShe 2019 WriteHer List. While Van has spent the last several years building a career in production on set as an assistant director in Austin, her passion lies in writing and creating stories. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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