COVID-19 is NOT an Excuse for Racism
Crocs were founded in Colorado, but do we blame all Coloradans for the horrible fashion mistake that are Crocs? Jake Paul is from Ohio, but do all Ohioans share the blame for all the things that’ve come from Jake Paul's YouTube channel? Nicolas Cage is from California, but am I going to personally blame the entire state of California for the subpar list of movies he starred in?
Horrible things originate all over the world, but that does not mean you can blame an entire race, state, or country for that thing originating there. Asians all over the world are being targeted over fears and stigmas of COVID-19.
Mass hysteria and worldwide panic prevail as stores struggle to keep shelves stocked with toilet paper and pasta noodles, millions go unemployed, and we are unable to keep up with the need for masks, ventilators, and tests. People around the world are holding on to that fear and using it as an excuse to spread anti-Asian racism and xenophobia through verbal and even physical attacks.
In California, a 16-year old Asian-American boy was attacked in school by bullies who accused him of having the coronavirus.
A passerby shouted, “You people brought the virus. Go back to China,” at an Asian-American man in New York.
A man in Queens was followed to a bus stop, shouted at, and then hit over the head in front of his 10-year-old son.
I can’t believe I even have to say this, but the CDC states people of Asian descent are no more likely to get or spread the coronavirus than anyone else. No one should have to worry about their personal safety due to their nationality. Instead of placing blame, we should be supporting each other through these difficult times.
The anti-Asian attacks are not only a continued cycle of xenophobia over viruses and diseases, but is fueled by the choices of many irresponsible leaders. President Trump is at the forefront of adding fuel to the fire by deliberately and repeatedly referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.”
The first question you should ask yourself when debating whether President Trump is inciting others to be racist is this, "Why persistently change the name of the pandemic’s virus to the “Chinese Virus” when there are already three other appropriate names?" This rhetoric is echoed by some Republican members of Congress, too. The underlying meaning is to assign blame in such a way that Asians, especially Chinese, are perceived to be the threat.
All Americans, no matter their nationality of descent, ethnicity, or race, deserve to feel as safe as possible as we all try to fight the coronavirus together. When looking for someone to blame, look to the governmental administrations and your representatives instead of placing it on an entire race. Elected officials have the power to help us flatten the curve, and can even allocate funds to assist with a treatment or cure. They are the people we need to hold accountable, not a stranger walking down the street who appears to be Chinese.
It is important to look after one another through these times. Stand up for Asian-Americans who face bigotry while still maintaining social distance; whether that is to de-escalate a situation by telling a joke or singing a song at the top of your lungs. You may need to report it to the authorities if you cannot help stop the verbal (and possibly physical) abuse happening before your eyes.
As always, stay safe and please have empathy for those around you.
Documentaries You Need to See
One of quarantine's biggest pros: giving me the needed time to catch up on my movie game, specifically documentaries. There comes a point where the consistent Coronavirus news becomes too upsetting and the same five apps I’ve cycled through on my phone for hours become old. Documentaries are my favorite way to learn something new and eradicate my boredom with a bowl of popcorn by my side. The extra time I’ve had during social distancing has made me a Netflix documentary expert.
If you find yourself longing for something new to watch, here are the documentaries that have consumed my time recently:
If you haven’t heard of or seen Tiger King yet, where have you been? This new Netflix series has been the hot topic all over social media and a great conversation starter among friends. As they exploit the problems of the world of people who own and breed big cats, they present the unique lives of the people behind it all. The series does not lack plot twists, but instead gets crazier and crazier as the seven episodes go on. Certainly, this is a documentary that must be seen to be believed.
“If we do not address the warming of the planet, we will lose this ecosystem and millions of people will suffer.” Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. In this documentary, a team of divers, photographers, and scientists reveal the phenomenon of coral bleaching. Filmed over three years, the team obtained over 500 hours of underwater footage from 30 different countries and was made with the support of over 500 people around the world. The film unveils the sad reality of the impacts of climate change.
Don’t F*** with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
Don’t F*** with Cats is a three-episode Netflix series guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. I am not embarrassed to say I was able to binge the whole series in one evening. This documentary is a great example of how social media has brought people together, but with a twist. What started out as a group of animal lovers ended up as people unified in seeking justice within their Facebook group after a shocking online video surfaced. What started out as an angry Facebook group, turned into much more when they started hunting a deranged killer.
A must watch for all American citizens. 13TH, referring to the 13th Amendment of the Constitution, explores the history of race and the criminal justice system in the United States. This documentary will get your mind moving, blood boiling, and tears streaming as you begin to understand more of how the 13th Amendment led to the mass incarceration of African Americans in the US.
Heart wrenching and heartwarming are two ways I would describe Crip Camp. It is a reminder that the impossible can be done with a lot of hard work and supporters. The film follows the bonding of several people who attended Camp Jened, a NY camp for the disabled, who later changed the nation for the better. To say the film is empowering is an understatement. Did I mention Crip Camp is the second film to be produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Grounds Productions?
The documentaries are best watched with a bowl of popcorn and comfy sweats. Hope you enjoy watching as much as I did.
Stay Safe! :-)
Until next time,
Mix Up Your Routine
with Mindful Movement
Wake up, get ready, go to school, come home, do your homework, eat your dinner, go to bed. We often get stuck in a never-ending cycle feeling as if we will never get out of the same rut. Before you cut your bangs or bleach your hair (it’s always the hair; personally, I cut all my hair off every time I need something new), think of other ways you can create a change.
Here's a time I tried something new that didn't require a hairstylist to come to my rescue.
Starting out with the permission slip, I was already intimidated.
Have you ever practiced yoga? If so, what kind?
Well, yes, I’ve practiced yoga. I know child’s pose, downward-facing dog, and the other basic poses, but who knew there were multiple types of yoga: anusara, ashtanga, bikram, hatha, hot yoga, and many more?!
My big change was attending my very first Mindful Movement yoga class with Mrs. Schuster after school.
Once I was able to forget about the permission slip, I was excited to try a new way to relieve stress. Mrs. Schuster was more than thrilled for me to be there. We set out our yoga mats as she told us the basic understandings of what we were about to do. She advised us to try to keep our eyes closed while she verbally instructed us on what to do next. She stressed on the need to keep our minds clear and do whatever feels the most comfortable.
With the calming music in the background, I was able to keep my focus clear on the mind and body.
Upon arrival, I was skeptical if the yoga class would make me feel any better, but by the time the hour was up, I was not only proud of myself for being able to try something new, but I was also pleased to be able to free my mind and relax.
On top of the sense of pride a person can get from trying something new, one might also obtain a new hobby or passion.
So, let's say you didn’t like it. Well, at least now you know!
Trying something new refreshes your daily routine. I think getting out of a rut and branching out is a good thing for all of us.
Looking to try your hand at something new? Here’s an idea: Mindful Movement! Join Mrs. Schuster at 3:45 every Thursday after school for a quick yoga session! You can see Mrs. Schuster for more information in room 1321.
Self Love is NOT Selfish
Future journalist. aspiring activist. Queen of making lists and being late.
I LOVE dogs, traveling, movies, & rice.
Working on finding my place in the world.