Our Pain

Can someone please enlighten me on why we are moving backwards? What is it with skin color and why is it a constant threat to you? White, brown, black—we’re all human with the same rights. One’s skin color, race, social status, gender, or popularity should never dictate what kind of privileges you are entitled to nor what rights you are applicable to. At the end of the day, we are all human and we bleed the same color.

As little as you think racist comments/jokes go, it often extends beyond words and ignites violence such as abuse and police brutality in the outside world. It is absurd how police brutality even is an issue, and is evident in almost all parts of the world. The very people (although not all) who are licensed to serve and protect are the first to make us feel unsafe. In the USA, blacks have been tagged as threats to police for doing literally nothing but existing. They have been shot for carrying toy guns, entering their own homes, and using fake 20 dollar bills (which all could have been resolved easily and peacefully). In the Philippines, police brutality has also made appearances in various situations such as the Lumad 2016 protests, the Extra Judicial Killings (EJK) outrage, and the most recent ones being the vendor who was attacked for violating the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and the “mentally challenged” man who was shot by Quezon City police. In terms of racism, we Asians have also had our fair share of experiences—how we are being blamed for being the source of the virus, and are treated as the “underclass”. While it’s true that there is barely any peaceful recourse to overturn the system and that the violent actions inflicted were probably rooted from pent-up frustration or hurt (I’m referring to the Minnesota situation), I am not for this whole burn-everything-down-loot-all-the-stores-and-smash-the-car-windows-of-the-innocent that opportunists do. BUT, I am pro- #BLACKLIVESMATTER #ANTIPOLICEBRUTALITY #ANTIRACISM and I march with them in solidarity.

We can’t change what we tolerate.

Let’s do our part by promoting awareness and justice, signing petitions, becoming socially responsible, and teaching others to accept and embrace differences. Let’s stand together as one in fighting the common enemy: racists and supremacists.

Every day, it seems like the world continues to descend into this chasm of depravity, indecency, and desensitization to the evils that have plagued our civilization for centuries. While it’s great that so many people are speaking out against racial injustice in the United States, the draconian takeover of Hong Kong by China, and the passage of the so-called “Anti-Terror Bill” in the Philippine Congress, we’re only feeding our own egos and contributing to an echochamber of privilege if we don’t take concrete steps to address these social ills. All this sharing is nothing but performative wokeness unless it’s followed up with real actions.

So what can you do to contribute to the global fight for freedom and justice from home? So much.

•On the homefront, you can read up about the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 here:

(1) https://verafiles.org/articles/vera-files-fact-sheet-what-you-need-know-about-senates-anti

You can then sign the petition to junk the bill here, should you decide to do so: http://chng.it/BwL74vFKwf

You can e-mail your Representative and explain your stance as a constituent through this link: https://bit.ly/EmailProtest

You can continue to support frontliners battling the COVID-19 pandemic here: http://www.helpfromhome.ph

In Hong Kong, the passage of the controversial Extradition bill will allow Beijing-based security forces to operate surveillance systems in Hong Kong. You can sign the petition to protest that legislation here:

(2) Free Hong Kong: https://www.change.org/p/carrie-lam-freedom-and-democracy-for-hong-kong-590ea7a9-1475-44c8-87e0-59ab253f6bce

In the United States, the murder of George Floyd by uniformed members of the police force has sparked protests across the country. To support the activists, you can donate to the following movements:

(3) The Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate

(4) The Black Lives Matter Global Fund: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

If you wish to personally support the family of George Floyd, you can donate to the George Floyd Memorial Fund:

(5) George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

The color of our skins and the creeds of our faiths may differ across the globe, but the oppression of the poor and the marginalized will remain until people act.