Healing our souls—and the world—of hatred

I’m writing as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and as the violence against our AAPI family grows. It’s horrific—slurs, beatings, stabbings, assaults; one woman was almost shoved onto the subway tracks, except a bystander intervened. Lord. Have. Mercy. Thank God for the bystanders who don’t turn a blind eye but who get engaged. In one California community, when an Asian family’s house was repeatedly attacked, neighbors set up shifts to literally stand guard in front of that house.
We need to stand guard, my people, and get involved. We can’t tolerate this violence, not on our watch. How will we move forward? We must interrogate ourselves. Is there anything in us that is anti-Asian? Feelings lurking, stereotypes hiding? We need to search our souls, and purge our hearts. Apathy is not an acceptable response to the hatred heaped on our people—and make no mistake, these are OUR people!!!
Second, we need to educate ourselves as to how we can help. Read this story for easy ways to get involved.
And you can take a course on bystander intervention by signing up here.
Third, all month long, we are centering voices of AAPI communities. Sunday, Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort will preach for us and join us in the Chat and Chew space for a conversation. On May 16, we’ll hear from our own Gloria Moy and Jocelyn Lieu.
Plus, join our colleagues at Marble Collegiate Church tonight, Thursday May 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET with Dr. Hyun Kyung Chung, speaking about racism and AAPI communities.
And stay tuned to our website and social media for ways to address not only anti-Black/Brown racism, but AAPI violence as well—including rapid response moments as they occur. If you hear of an action we can consider, send it to Rev. Amanda.
Family, as an African American leader in the movement for Black Lives, it breaks my heart to see the virus of white supremacy infecting all of us. It’s tricky, it’s contagious, and it can cause not only white people to hate on Asians, it can cause Black folk to hate on Asian folk, too.
My loves, we simply can’t spread the virus of hate. We need an inoculation of fierce love that changes the way we see. All the people no matter who they love, no matter their religion—whether in a kippah, turban or hijab—they are our people. No matter their ethnicity—AAPI, Indigenous, Latinx/Hispanic, Black from all the African diaspora and, yes, the white folks of all ethnicities (the ones they might not claim, OK?)—they are all OUR folks. We have to work on healing the horrific virus that is white supremacy and all its violent symptoms. It’s urgent work, and we are called to do it.
As we think about how to do the work of healing, I’m putting the information from Sunday’s Congregational Meeting in your hands. Please read it. Ask yourself, as you answer the questions for us: What are we called to do and be right now, and in the coming years? What do we need to do in order to be faithful, and how does the place we build help us do it? Please, complete this survey and let us know.
I love you madly, and no kidding, let’s fix this $hit right now!
P.S. Indians (in India) are Asian, too, and right now COVID-19 is ravaging the subcontinent. Click here to find out what you can do to help.