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Perspective of a "Minority" in San Francisco

The following letter was authored by a Paradocracy reader from San Francisco, California, who felt compelled to share her perspective as an immigrant, a minority and a female who's proud to be an American:

I am neither white nor black. I am a naturalized American citizen. I am a minority. I am a woman. I am not a fan of politics, and I tend to think that the little voice inside of me would be useless in the public square; but since everyone seems to have a degree in Political Science these past few weeks, and there are now so many strong supporters (bandwagoners) of all of these different social-media hashtags, I suppose I will let this little voice out of my chest. I am not looking to argue; I am just sharing my own personal feelings.

I am greatly disturbed by the craziness that is going on out there in our own community and across the country. Ever since I became a mother, I care more about life than ever. I pray that I will live until I’m 90. I want to make sure that I am present in my daughter’s life until she’s content and comfortable with her own life. I know death is inevitable, but if we can defy it by any means, then why not?

On March 16, the State of California, specifically the administrations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ordered residents to “shelter in place”. A lot of businesses shut down, but my line of work was not affected, as we are considered “essential”. The first two weeks of the “SIP” weren’t that bad, as I didn’t lose any of my employees; but as soon as the government announced the extra $600 weekly stimulus check to those who file for unemployment, I lost almost half of my department. They all of a sudden fear for their lives. Maybe they really do. I don’t know.

We have ample PPE resources and practice aseptic technique in everything we do. And we’re not even cooped up in a small place, as we have implemented our own measures to ensure compliance with social distancing.

But heck, the unemployment agency made it so easy for everyone to file  — no need to worry about the reason  — regardless of whether you’re genuinely fearful for your safety or you’re just plain lazy. I think for most of those who filed, it’s more of the latter.

Regardless of the social and political currents pushing people into lucrative unemployment, the workload in our "essential" industry didn’t decrease; ironically, while the political posturers and corporate marketing teams showered our industry with praise and gratitude, the policies and fear they've engendered have negatively impacted our operations, the manufacturing and supply chains upon which patients worldwide depend.

From here, I became irritated by America’s response to COVID-19. The government’s response affected not just the businesses across America, but every single living creature, both big and small. We were prohibited from the outside world, our outlet to release our stress and to get some breathing room. The government flexed its muscles in imposing rules (or unlawful mandates) to "prevent" the spread of a widely-misunderstood virus, such as social distancing, proper hygienic practices, and just sheltering in place. Americans, comfortably at home with YouTube, Netflix and Amazon at their disposal, were on the road to becoming the next Bobby Flay or Rachel Ray, happily forgiving their overlords for their tyrannical transgressions as they relished the unexpected stay-at-home vacation. Americans normalized what the government asked, or rather mandated, us to do. Americans were so compliant for almost four months that they supposedly helped in “flattening the curve”. We were so compliant that the government was going to “reward” us by opening the country again at the beginning of June. Then boom! George Floyd.

When I saw the video, I didn’t see it as racial profiling. Again, I am neither white nor black. But I am a "minority"  — an Asian woman, a mother, a registered voter (whatever that means), a worker, a non-politician. I saw an officer who seemed to have some sort of power trip and was probably showing off to his other buddies that he could pin down and tackle George Floyd with no help. These officers were not all white. They were a mix of different ethnicities, including a Hispanic, an African-American, and an Asian  — a Hmong, to be exact. Seldom has there ever been a more diverse group.

While I am not an expert on any of these, if a person is telling an officer he can’t breathe or you’re hurting him, given that you have three other officers on your side, I don’t think it’s that difficult to just loosen your stance a little. So what I saw in the video is a good example of police brutality, yet it’s not purely because George Floyd was black, and it's not because he didn't give those officers a reason to stop him. Did he deserve to die? Of course not. But the same rings true for Kelly Thomas and Tony Timpa, "white" victims of police brutality whose stories failed to gain the traction of their "black" counterparts.

Moving on to the protests that are happening. I’m not sure how to go about it. It frightens me more than the COVID-19. These protests brought out the good and evil among us. These protests enabled the criminals and those with criminal minds to finally get out of SIP and cause riots! These protests unleashed those who’ve been idle for almost four months to wreak havoc on our ailing communities! These protests unleashed hormonal teenagers from being locked up with their parents! Combining all of them, we are now witnessing the messiest, deadliest, and most confusing protest ever witnessed in my lifetime as an American. Of course, black lives matter, but so do the innocent lives that are being affected by the protests. It seems as though the bigger problem, which is police brutality, is now being overlooked here. If it were the Asian officer who knelt on George Floyd, would there be a protest like this? If it were the African-American officer, would there be a protest against him? I suspect not, given the muted voices of those in the aftermath of the cases of Thomas and Timpa.

When I see signs that include the word race or black or any color, it truly makes me question the real intent of it. Are we really trying to end the problem, or are we increasing the gap between the two most prominent "colors" in this country? Are we killing the specter of “white supremacy” or are we replacing it with “black supremacy”? Where's the "justice" in that? And at what cost are we to seek it? How many flesh-and-blood human beings — black, white or whatever — must die to have this form of "justice"?

Given the fact that my close "black" friends are just as fearful of the protests and the riots, and given the ethnicities of the murder victims during the riots and the lack of any coherent argument on the side of the so-called "movement", I doubt that "justice" is even remotely on the minds of these protestors; rather, they are after vengeance and retribution for what they've been led to believe is "injustice" against them. Just as with the lazy workers who prefer a paycheck for doing nothing, the looters and the protestors are opportunists eager to justify theft and their dissatisfaction with their stations in life, leaving others just to participate for the fun or intrigue of it all, to post their pictures on Instagram and Snapchat to convince themselves and their friends that they're hip and sensitive to the issues. Little do they know that the "issues" as they see them have been framed to keep them from appreciating the bigger picture.

Social media is plainly disgusting, and those who keep on switching from one hashtag to another, such as #stayhomesavelives or #blacklivesmatter or #alllivesmatter, what’s your real agenda? To stay home and save lives or to stay out and protest?

Don’t you ever wonder why everything that is happening right now is politically related? In a few months, we are electing a new “leader” to preside over this country. In a few months, new issues will arise. This country is crumbling because almost everyone is becoming emotionally involved and hypersensitive with every issue with which he or she can relate.

I am only concerned with the things that I can control, such as my own little family and our safety. I am in an interracial marriage, but I never see ourselves in color.

I’m going to be honest and say that I do have biased feelings towards "black" people, because of two unfortunate encounters with them. First, I was mugged at gunpoint by two black teenagers in front of my own home. Secondly, I was a victim of a hit-and-run vehicular accident, where a black woman aggressively swerved into my lane, causing my vehicle to be totaled. I’d say those two are the scariest events of my life. I feel that I will always be an easy target because I am a petite Asian woman. I don’t hate blacks, but I hate the circumstances in which they place themselves, which basically trickle down to the next person they tend to encounter, partially because they refuse to assume personal responsibility and instead prefer to interpret every event and misfortune through a colored lens.

Despite these feelings, some of my very best friends would be classified as "black" by their contemporaries, although they prefer to identify with their native countries in East Africa. They too are fearful of the riots and the protests, as they understand the thoughtlessness and emotional whirlwinds driving them to loot businesses and murder their neighbors, among them the very people whom the protests claim to support. They too see the danger of "black" people arming themselves with hatred at the sacrifice of truth, patience and understanding. In my daily life, where I rejoice in love and friendship within my own diverse social circle, I find those to be the virtues and the common bonds that bring us together. For this, I find that protests, riots and ill-conceived "movements" succeed only in pulling us apart, especially where they are founded upon notions that deliberately distract from them.


Your fellow American


  1. I am encouraged by your honest perspective in the midst of the loud aggressive chant of the mob, repeating it's one sided and dishonest political narrative. Although bullies would have it that no other voice be heard, your little voice has been heard, because it is the truth that sets one free.


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