I couldn’t fathom it, couldn’t work it out. Why had someone tried to attack us twice in the past week, after six months of peace in the wonderful city of San Francisco. After nosing through the Bay Area news, wondering if there was a batch of zombi- behavior-inducing angel dust doing the rounds, or if everyone simply had lost their fucking minds, I found the answer.
There is a new challenge doing the rounds of social media, it’s called the “Slap an Asian Challenge.” Like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, except hunting human beings with a racist violent twist. Go google if you don’t believe me. Heck I didn’t believe it either until I read it on the mainstream media, and took in the Bay Area Police comments on the phenomenon.
So the challenge is people are meant to go find themselves an Asian person, and hit them.
Which considering the number of Asian elders, particularly women, who have been the victims of racially motivated attacks that the police are unwilling to call out as racially motivated because of their own racism towards Asians, seems less of a joke, and more a threat.
So yesterday, we were flashed at, my son racially abused verbally then the zombie chased both of us combined with the awful threats to beat my son with a shoe, and push us into the road, followed by chasing us and trying to do just that of just a few days before, we are not feeling safe.. My son is in his very early teens, slightly built and tall for his age, but no match for a grown man. I can’t run. I have a leg which never healed, and having to sprint away from these men who tried to attack us for nothing we did at all is just not something I can do and not pay for it in pain. I am in agony to the point even I am wondering if the ER might consider it an emergency.
We fled violence, extreme violence, the last thing we need is to feel hunted like animals every time we leave the house. We didn’t have interactions with either of these men, we didn’t know either of these men. We didn’t have disagreements. These men approached us and proceeded to try and physically hurt us, and considering the things they said whilst doing so, it appears the motivation is racial and the target is my son. Getting to attack a woman is just gravy to these men.
My son doesn’t want to go outside because of it. My son doesn’t want to go outside in the USA because people are racially attacking Asians, and he looks Asian. Let that sink in. This is not 1962 Alabama. This is 2021 San Francisco, and my son is terrified to leave the house because “ma I can’t change my face.” As a mother I can’t tell you how that makes me feel – him telling me he “cant change his face.” His lovely, handsome, never hurt a fly, sweet self has done nothing to anyone. Anyone think my half Japanese son had anything to do with creating the virus? Anyone? Please go ahead and tell me in the comments below if the Boy is a secret biochemist. I thought he just liked playing keyboards, and drawing.
How dare anyone make my son feel like that. How dare anyone make me feel that way.
I figure there is no answer. Yes, there are good people around, I live in a shelter with good people. Yes, the city is as beautiful and full of possibilities as ever, but how do you live in a place, a place that historically has a large, vibrant and productive Asian community, that is deciding to physically assault people because they are Asian. I don’t want to pepper spray someone. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want violence in my life, but it keeps chasing me. Listen, I am a five foot tall woman, with a traumatized boy, we are not your punchbag for the pandemic. We are not your enemies. We just want to live quietly and try and make a life.
It appears once Trump (damn you for making me mention his fucking name) let the racist genie out the bottle, there is no stuffing it back in.
More than anything I am sad. Devastated. I don’t think me and the Boy can survive much more, I really don’t.