For as long as I can remember I have witnessed hate. As a young person, experienced it. Hate against other human beings because of the color of their skin, because of their station in life, because they think differently from each other, or worship differently.- Mormons, Jews, Catholics, Muslims are all suspect. Right? Mosques and Synagogues have all been the scene of mass attacks and murders. We once hated the Japanese, the Germans, the Koreans, it’s endless. Much, or most of the time, hate has no rational explanation. Remember WWII? it was the Japanese who formed the 442nd Infantry Regiment. It was almost entirely made up of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (Nisei). This regiment is the most decorated unit for its size in U.S. military history – it saved countless American lives and still we hated or hate them still. Really? Where is the logic? Hate has no rational explanation.
So here we are today with the most recent evidence of hate playing out in Atlanta where eight lost their lives – six Asian women, one Hispanic male and another white female. Recently news outlets are reporting hate crime against Asians on the rise. Many blame them for COVID 19. It hasn’t been proven that the virus actually came from China because scientists are still not allowed by the Chinese government to inspect the lab in Wuhan. But let’s say it did come from there. The Chinese government, President Xi, may be responsible but he is not the Chinese people of China – or the enslaved Uighurs whom he calls terrorists. It is not the fault of our many Chinese Americans living right here in our country, nor the fault of our Japanese or Korean brethren – but somehow they all get lumped in together! Logical??? It is true that millions of Americans have seen their lives turned upside down – Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Jews, Muslims have all seen their businesses destroyed during COVID 19 restrictions. Looters and rioters have gone wild destroying anything they could get their hands on, murdered, and in many cases gone unchecked all in the name of social justice. Portland seems to have lost its mind. Their mayor whom just months ago called for defunding the police is now asking for more police help. Our once beautiful Seattle saw Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “Summer of Love” where again local businesses were burned, looted and lives were lost. I wonder if Seattle will ever recover from this year. On top of the financial losses suffered, many went without medical care and have died. My daughter’s dear friend was denied medical attention because of COVID restrictions and when she was finally seen by a doctor many months later was diagnosed with cancer in five areas of her body. She is now in fourth stage metastatic cancer and isn’t expected to live much longer. She is 37 years of age. Do her parents and husband of four years have a right to be angry and upset? Yes, but they are not out destroying property, attacking or shooting others in the name of justice.
And let’s not forget our children. They have lost a year of education and vital socialization being without their classmates. Their parents have had to leave their jobs to stay home to care for and educate their children. The suicide rate among children has skyrocketed. This is incredibly tragic. So yes, there is a lot of anger felt among many. Looks like we need someone to blame.
What can we do? We can choose to get up each day and spread a little kindness. We can take personal responsibility for everything we do and say. Yes, it can be as simple as that. Smile, what does it cost you? Open the door for a mother with a stroller and one on the way, for the elderly, or a disabled person. Thank a veteran for his service to our country. Freedom isn’t free. We are here having this conversation today largely because of their sacrifice. Be kind. We’ve all heard, or seen, what happens when a pebble in thrown into a pond. It causes a ripple effect. Let our kindness cause a ripple effect, let it be contagious in a good way. As individuals we can do much. By joining hands, we are even stronger.
Am I oversimplifying this state our country is in and what we can do as individuals to help? You decide.
On our local level – Edmonds, I met Janelle Cass several months ago. I’m impressed with her as a person, as a business owner, and with her education and professional background. Janelle Cass is running for City Council, Position 2. Janelle is for everyone. Talk with her. She is for restoring, protecting, and investing in everyone in Edmonds.
Theresa Campa Hutchison