As I read the open letter written today from the dean of my doctoral program decrying the recent spate of violence against the Asian-American community, I realized my own silence was untenable. Although I have far to go to express my feelings with the eloquence of Dean Williams, I believe that expression of non-acceptance of intolerance, particularly violent manifestations of intolerance, is the duty of all of us as American citizens. What is done to one of us, is done to all of us.
There is incredible fatigue concerning the latest outrage in a year which has showed us so many. Perhaps speaking out, if it serves no other purpose, gives us a refresher course in our individual humanity. When I lost my parents, the notes and kind words I received provided a solace I could never have anticipated. There was a transfusion of energy I felt which buoyed me through the most difficult days of my existence. The knowledge that others acknowledge our collective human dignity, by acknowledging the individual who is suffering, is one of civilization's greatest superpowers.
What is being done to our Asian American fellow citizens is barbaric, unjust and wrong. The desperation which drives scapegoating hatred is a destructive outcropping of a civilization spiraling in atrophy.
When you see it, please do not remain silent.
Imagine that it is happening to you or someone close to you, because if left unchecked, one day soon, it will be.