I write this with no drama: I’m signing up for a self-defense class. I at times fly fish in very desolate areas, and it feel prudent to be prepared.
I just read this article on line that documents Trump followers harassing Asian-Americans. A friend last night posted this on Facebook:
The barber shop is in Cambridge, MA, one of the most liberal cities in one of the most liberal states in the country.
In a way, I’m surprised but not surprised.
I’m not surprised because of what I’ve experienced in the past. There was a lot of racism growing up. But, here are two examples from adulthood.
First, about 10 years ago, I was in Steubenville, OH, a town that has fallen on tough times for a long time. I was at a TGIF for dinner, sitting at the bar. A really drunk guy a few seats away repeatedly challenged me to a fight (link here). It clearly was about race. The other patrons just let him go on and on.
Or, as I’ve blogged before here: Two guys came up to me. “Hey, Dad,” one said, “here’s a gook. Let’s beat the sh** out of him.” In broad daylight. I couldn’t believe it.
I’m not surprised, also, because of our family history. A reason we left Indonesia was because of the pogroms that would happen there. If you were ethnic Chinese, you were targeted. There would be race riots. Churches were bombed, business were looted, houses were attacked, and mobs of people would go around beating up people.
Back then, there were severe limitations on what career paths you could pick. Chinese names and schools were banned. Even if you were born in Indonesia, your government I.D. card said “foreigner” on it.
So, we left. We are both ethnic Chinese and Christian. It already was two strikes against us.
Thus, I’m not surprised. But, I am surprised because this is a new reality that I certainly didn’t want for my children.
We live in interesting times.
Thankfully, our family culture is all about persistence and being prepared. I think that when you feel like a victim, you’ve already lost the mental game. So, I tend to push myself to go farther and further. Take charge of my life. Ignore the noise. Keep on keepin’ on.
The good news is that Mrs. T. and one of our children want to take self-defense classes, too. So, we will make this a family affair.