“Them” is You.

Dear Olivia,

I could only hope and dream that by the time you reach school age or even adulthood, you’ll not have to worry about certain things, and that we, in America, are one united front.  One community that, while disagreements are had, people can live and coexist peacefully and with respect to the person next to them.  But the reality is that we’re not there yet, and we probably won’t be for a long while.  So I write this with the hope that I will be able to instill a sense of community within you.

I hope that you’ll never say – that doesn’t affect me, that affects them.

Because I’ll tell you, my girl, that “them” is you.  And if it’s not you now, it may be you tomorrow.

Nowadays, I hear from some people that it’s not an Asian American thing.  It’s a Black thing.  It’s a Latino/Hispanic thing.  It’s an Asian thing, like from Asia Asia.  No.  Just all kinds of no.

I hate that.

I had a friend once tell me, “Oh no, it’s ok, we’re safe.  We’re Asian American.  We were born here.”  No.  Again, just all kinds of no.

Do you think an ignorant person would discern Asian from Asian American?  Do you think someone like that would even care to do so?  Do you not remember what happened during World War II and the Japanese?

Please do not say it’s not an “us” thing because it is.  It’s an everyone thing.

If my friends are not afforded basic human rights such as the right to simply live safely and without fear for their livelihoods, then yes, it does impact me.

Olivia, I hope you’ll stand by what is right for humankind.  I hope you’ll learn to love people and respect them.  You might not always accept what they do but at least afford them some respect as human beings.

I hope you’ll stand by your brothers and sisters in the community and have a voice.  I hope you will help those who cannot find their voice, give strength to those who cannot or think they cannot help themselves.  I hope you’ll take their hands and march forward.

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