Standing in Solidarity With Our Asian Communities

      I am a second generation Canadian. My parents were born and raised in Canada. I am of European descent.

      Thecolourof my skinis white. The streets of my town have been my playground since I was a toddler. I am not afraid to walk down the street alone.   

      My friend Naomi is a second generation Canadian. Her parents were born and raised in Canada. Naomi isofAsian descent.

      Thecolourof her skinis brown. The streets of Vancouver have been her playground since she was a toddler. She is now afraid to walk down the street alone.  

      Hate, violence and xenophobia have always been around, creeping into the thinnest walls of our society, affecting communities and systems.  

      The last year has had averyprofound effect on highlighting my white privilege.I knew it existed. I try to be aware. I try to be curious and gain understanding of what the world might be like for others whowere not born with ‘white’ skin.  

      I try to understand how my thoughts, language and behaviour might be contributing to that white privilege.I try to understand what extreme fear looks like.

      The one piece of fear I cannot begin to understand is a fear that has to do with thecolourof my skin and how safe, or not, I am because of acolor. 

      In the past few months, the anti-Asian hate crime has escalated to unprecedented numbers. People are afraid to go outside their houses or show their true identities. Some have resorted to covering their faces and color of their skin.

      The AAPI report counts over 3,795 Asian hate incidents since COVID-19 began, with police reports on Asian hate and discrimination surging over 150% in major U.S cities. 

      By attacking AAPI communities and their vulnerable, society is showing us that they are afraid. 

      But what is the extreme fear these people hold and where did it come from? What is the extreme fear that tells them it is okay to viciously assault a vulnerable, olderAsianwoman and beat her to the ground? 

      In Canada it has been reported that 60% of attacks have involved women, and mostlysenior women. 

      What does this say about the mindset and extreme cowardice of these attackers, when they choose to channel their fear into these extreme actsof violence,targeting defenceless, older women, solelyon the basis oftheir skincolour?    

      The anti-Asian hate influx highlights the extreme challenges some people have dealing with life’s uncertainties. When people are afraid and uncertain, some cope by finding fault with others, bullying others, assaulting others.

      For some, it is easier to blame others than take responsibility for themselves and the situation in which they find themselves. Then add into the mix extremely ignorant leadership and you have a recipe for increased chaos and instability and extremely poor behaviour. 

      The last year has highlighted yet again how people in powerful leadership positionsuse their thoughts, language and behaviour to influence others.   

      Theycan choose to use this power and influence to incite collective coming together to stand sideby sideto support each other orthey canchoose to incite riots, prejudice,and hatred toward our fellow human beings. 

      When wecoachleaders, the conversation often comes around to the fact that when you choose to step into a leadership position you choose a higher level of responsibility for the care of the people around you.    

       I ammaking an assumptionthat these fearful cowards and their Asian hate have in some part been fueled byso called world leaderswho have no concern or care for this higher level of responsibility when they are referring to Covid 19 as the china virus’ and the kung flu 

      These extremely poor descriptions put thoughts intothe heads of peopleabout whoisresponsible’ for starting this pandemic. Perhaps helping them justify their actions that this is a good reason to hate and to physically assault another human being.

      That this is a good reason to turn the Asian-American and Asian-Canadian communities into scapegoats, victims of xenophobia and racism. 

      I cannot profess to understand the level of hatred and fear these cowards must have rolling around in their heads. 

      I cannot profess to understand the level of fear that people of Asian descent must have as they step out their front door in what used to be their safe community, their home.  

      I can only try to be aware of how my thoughts, words andbehavioursare either contributing to inciting hate and prejudice or inciting loveconnectedness, celebration and the extreme importance of diversity.  

      Gandhiwisely shared this… 

      Your beliefs become your thoughts,

      Your thoughts become your words,

      Your words become your actions,

      Your actions become your habits,

      Your habits become your values,

      Your values become your destiny.

      As a society and as leaders we have to confront racism whenever we see it – be it racism in our workplace or outside.  

      We have to listen. 

      We have to care. 

      We have to participate.  

      We have to be responsible. 

      What beliefsand thoughtsdo you hold to be true that are impacting your words? 

      What words do you use that are impacting your actions and having either a negative or positiveimpact others? 

      What actions have become habits for you?Where are your blindspots with regard tothese habits? 

      Do these habitsalign with the values you want to expressin the world? 

      What needs to change for you to step into your profound responsibility as a leader and as a fellow human being? 


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