Our world and hate

When I was young, I always struggled to understand racism and hate. I had many friends from all sorts of races and cultures. As pure, innocent kids, we never thought to discriminate against each other. However, as I grew older, I saw more and more hate, bitterness, and division in the world. As I researched the history of racism, I saw myriad forms of discrimination infesting our society. I saw horrendous, well publicized hate crimes that everyone focused on. Perhaps even worse, I saw silent, systemic discrimination, invisibly poisoning our beautiful country. 34% of the prison population is black, while they make up 13.4% of the total population. As I uncovered this, my initial reaction was to become spiteful, disgusted, and angry. I wanted to punish the people committing hate crimes, and stamp out racism with force.
Fortunately, through this anger, I remembered how Mencius, a Chinese philosopher, held the core belief that everyone is born good and inclined towards virtue. Not letting my emotions dominate me, I calmed down and began to think. I realized the reason behind racism was simply a lack of understanding. I hoped that eventually, we would learn to accept each other, and become a unified society.
However, with the latest hate crimes, it seems like we are making no progress at all. Every day, Asian Americans are attacked on the streets, and denied jobs based on their lack of traditional “American” culture. Even worse, many are blaming the coronavirus pandemic on Asians, saying that we spread the virus to the United States. According to NBC news, there were 3800 anti-asian racist incidents this year. They call us “chinks”, “bat eaters”, and “tiny eyed freaks”. People say these things for fun, blaming others for the problems they cannot solve, without realizing the damage it does to our society. Fortunately, Asian Americans have not been taking this abuse lying down. We have organized, protested, and formed incredible groups, such as Stop AAPI Hate, AAAJ, and AAF, among others.
Unfortunately, even with all these groups seeking justice, we remain as divided as ever. All these anti-hate groups, including groups like BLM, seem more like individual factions, focused on one race. They make white people feel attacked, and often fail to promote complete unity, getting mixed up in a us vs them mentality. If these groups united, to create a more central anti-hate organization, we could have the power necessary to end racism once and for all.
However, we also need to defeat racism as individuals. For example, I was born in Hong Kong. When I came to the United States, I struggled massively, as I had to learn the language and succeed in school at the same time. However, I never once thought that my culture hindered me. My Asian heritage made me stronger, especially the Asian tradition of hard work. I am proud of my Asian heritage, so I am able to remain resilient against hate. For example, someone once asked me if I eat bats. I simply laughed it off, saying that they were like a well done steak. If everyone learned to humorize and belittle racism this way, it would lose its power of hate and bitterness, instead turning into a comical thing of the past.

Criminal Justice Fact Sheet. NAACP. (2021, May 24). https://naacp.org/resources/criminal-justice-fact-sheet.
Yam, K. (2021, March 19). There were 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, in the past year. NBCNews.com. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/there-were-3-800-anti-asian-racist-incidents-mostly-against-n1261257.

DISCLAIMER: The content of this essay does not represent the views of the contest organizer CAPA NOVA.

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