Today kicks off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month so I thought I’d share this experience from earlier this week.
On Monday, I received over 100 hateful and racist comments from trolls, white supremacists, and far-right wing conspiracists on my Asian American band’s page. More specifically, it was on a post announcing a new grant that our nonprofit is releasing to help counter anti-Asian American racism with art that sparks empathy, compassion, and connection.
I’m not angry, I just feel sad. I feel sad that people are so fueled by rage, ignorance, and hate that they would go out of their way to smash what others are doing instead of trying to do some good in the world instead. I feel sad that they, like so many others, allow cynicism to dictate how they operate in the world. And It does make me sad in that it reminds me of the countless experiences I’ve encountered with racism myself throughout my life.
But it also reminds me why I do this work, why it is important to change the culture. Because no one should be made to feel like this. Because the hateful things that they are spewing must come from a place of pain. And unless we find ways of addressing that pain and ignorance, we’ll never experience anything different. It can be very difficult in the face of attacks but we should never abandon our values because of them. We shouldn’t let the ignorance, rage, and hatred of others to neutralize our compassion.
Getting so many terrible messages/comments at once can be extremely discouraging – but if we can change a few hearts along the way people in the future can experience less hatred, then it is worth the effort. Remember, even just a small pebble can create ripples across a vast body of water and a small beam of light can pierce the darkest of nights. You’ll never know how you can impact the world with a kind gesture, thoughtfulness, and courage.
If you’d like to support efforts in mitigating a culture of hatred using art, please consider supporting The Slants Foundation. 100% of donations go directly to the work. Thank you.