adulting? in this economy?

“you don’t know what you wanna do with your life?” “nah”

“don’t you wanna get married and have children” “nope”

“aw, you’ll figure it out when you get older” “like you have”

what does it mean to be a child in these years of disaster? do we even get to be children?

i have friends that depended on making good grades this year to go off island. now they’re stuck home on their phones, same as me, only they don’t have the luxury of people who are willing to chip in for a flight out anytime soon. for that matter, they don’t have luxuries.

i see kids who don’t have a choice in whether or not they have to stare at a screen, trying to learn but wanting to play, frustration swelling from the online plane within two minutes of trying to understand a livestream, tears after finally ending a call. some of them range from age five to age sixty.

i’ve seen visas and permits expire and waited anxiously with friends who don’t know if their being in country will give them the freedom to stay or danger to their families’ lives.

i’ve seen more lonely kids than the years i have spent being lonely, people in my grade freaking out that their friend is gonna relapse that night because they couldn’t handle the stress of listening to the lashing outs of a child in need of help, kids searching for advice on how to hide their cuts and information and personal treasures that would immediately be seen as trash once spotted by the grownups who are supposed to care.

i have had to give that advice.

no wide areas of skin, make backup emails, delete your history every other week, use a vpn, stash outside the house, memorize your apartment’s stairs route and times of entry.

it got to “record what they’re doing so you have a case when the uniforms come knocking” that i just jerked back from what i was typing and sat shocked for a full minute.

i’m supposed to prep for the driver’s exam, and here i am trying to comfort a kid in case their parents do find out about their anxiety.

why do i have to say that sentence? why do we have to pass advice for how to survive? why are we dependent on our grades to be considered a respectable useful member of society? why do i have to check up on friends to see if their area was okay after a shooting? why do we hear our parents laude so much praise for a system that has shown no respect of life whatsoever solely because they claim they care for the unborn?

they don’t even care for the born.

“all kids’ lives are wanted!” but when have any of us felt truly wanted by those around us? when have we felt wanted and not guilty for existing, for the cost, for our fear, for our lack of skill, for the trouble we assume we make by breathing?

i don’t know how great a world can be in in which we’ve causally accepted our trauma. in which your existence is judged on how many labels you fit and the amount of melanin in your body, but never accepted for the fire in your soul or the light in your eyes or the pen in your hands or the heart that still beats in you despite everything that has gone wrong.

how is that world even sustainable to be an adult in? it’s barely possible to be a kid in it.

but you can’t say that. because everyone already knows about the depression and anxiety and general angst of our generation, and they’ve simply closed their eyes.

and if you jump they’ll probably cry bloody murder instead of ever thinking that maybe they were the murderers.

maybe, there is something wrong with the world, and it’s not on kids being lazy and addicted to their phones. and maybe those kids want to see the world become lighter for just two minutes. maybe those kids want to live their stories and create their art and not have their lives at stake for doing what they could to help. maybe there is unbelievable beauty in treating the human individual and collective like they are human.

maybe kids deserve to be children for however long they can get. maybe their lives matter.

but until that’s a truth self evident and not something we need to chant in the streets, and far beyond that, there is so much work to be done that somehow will be left to us to pick up. because sometimes the adults don’t do the jobs they’re proud of having.

i don’t doubt that good will win. and i don’t doubt the tenacity of people fighting for that good. and i think there will be a day where we can look back at this time in history and marvel at how far we’ve come—

but it’s tiring.

what do i want to be when i grow up?

alive.

~running around night, running for a light, jo~

until i can’t think

red and white wall with graffiti

“Individuals with ADHD often become quickly immersed in one salient emotion and have problems shifting their focus to other aspects of a situation.”

“For many people with ADHD, the brain’s gating mechanism for regulating emotion does not distinguish between dangerous threats and more minor problems. These individuals are often  thrown into panic mode by thoughts or perceptions that do not warrant such a reaction. As a result, the ADHD brain can’t deal more rationally and realistically with events that are stressful.” – some article i found from ADDitude

“nothing is wrong. everything feels wrong. that’s what’s wrong.” on mental disorders (simple explanation), our favorite weez

well.

that doesn’t make this easier.

if anything, it could very well make this.

worse.

worse like groan a little and rock back and forth for an hour because it would’ve been nice to have known *before* all this happened. stare into the abyss and not imagine dragons waiting to take me away because i still have homework worse. scrolling through instagram and feeling overwhelmed worse. so much worse that it feels scary to address the worse because what if it gets worse

i’m trying the breathing exercises and they’re kinda helping, but they just make me feel dizzy and have a bit of a headache. and i already ate so it can’t be that. and i don’t have anyone that actually know know what it means to have a mind with a million tabs open and one sound coming from all of them in unsion

“oh! no! oh! no! oh! no!”

and what do i say to the tabs?

“you’re! not! real! you’re! exaggerated!”

and then what? lie because everything in the world is going

“oh! no!”

and me saying it doesn’t make it more or less true?

i hold no power as to the truthness level of a situation, and that scares me more than the actual situation. i’m not sure what to think about that, and i’m not sure if i *can* think, because then it’s like

realize that everything i’m processing and experiencing will always be received by hypersensitive, maxed up senses,

leading to questioning everything i hold dear and i speak up about being actually important or just important to me,

then leading into panicking as the things and people i love don’t get better and don’t get anything at all and the world and the governments and how itchy my left eye is,

then trying to shut my phone off before yet another cry of how the people who need to listen won’t listen and are just trying to maintain order and calm, and how can i blame them when i’m trying to do the exact same thing, but the difference between me and them is i’m actually trying to change for the better and they only want to surpress the cries,

oh the room is cold now, oh, there’s a bag of groceries where the table is, that’s not right, oh no, a million little things are inscrutably different than how they were yesterday and oh no that is not okay, not okay, not okay!

sometimes it ends in a meltdown and sometimes it ends in long periods of feeling nothing after feeling everything for so long

but everything seems to set me off today, like

all the lovely things friends write and put up and share

and all the mean things the outside does and the bills they pass and the doom they bring to make everything great again! no you’re not you just want you to be great again

and that someone brought me crackers and now i feel priveleged because nobody else asked for crackers

and then lonely because nobody else asked and i feel like i can’t go home and i don’t know where home is

and i know that i don’t know but it doesn’t make up for the fact that i don’t know

i want to save the world. and i also want to save myself. and i have to make peace that having both is okay. that i am okay.

that even with all the unokayness it will be okay, because we’re just humans and everything we see is filtered through the confines of our minds, and that’s why when we’re united it doesn’t feel as lonely as it tends to be, but *why* is so much, why is there so much why

why

why

perhaps… perhaps feeling, and caring is a superpower that… that i can’t control yet? and therefore… and therefore the opposite, to be normal, to be apathetic, is my weakness?

but then…

but then…

when does it stop?

~then i try, try to deny, jo~

mudbloods, but make it worse

flag of Philippines
do i have my own photos? yes
am i still using these unsplash stills? yes
do i have issues? oh yeah

there’s a caste system in everything. the philippines is only one of many countries that employ one.

it starts with what we associate with success and fame and the “It” goal: being white. sometimes this can be replaced with being american on a good day, sometimes it’s just anyone with unbelievably fairer skin. either way, this ingrained goal, despite not actually being stated, is why the skin whitening industry is so successful and why most representation of filipinos is unbelievably lightskinned. or, in nicer terms, “fair.”

then it breaks down into being mestizo, which is a fancy colonizer way to say having mixed blood. if your genes are good and you’re “fair” then you have a pretty secure grip on the societal ladder. if you don’t, at least you have a “fair” parent. having mixed families is, for some reason, romanticised and fetishized, which isn’t cool, but somehow nobody talks about that? anyway.

the more melanin you have, the less you’re seen as equal to the “It” goal, or seen as equal, or even seen in general, and it’s this weird horrible phenomenon of internalizing colonial thinking that’s led filipinos to either:

favoring the system

or

favoring the exact opposite, which spurns anyone who isn’t pure filipino.

enter the anomaly that is having both biological parents mixed themselves, growing up in a different country, absorbing three cultures without really knowing where they come from, and finally, going back to the place it all started, and being unnaturally, atypically, ungodly, different.

enter me.

i don’t say all of this to the old guy sitting on the plastic chair by the street though. his confused reaction at my sudden spout of words would just confirm my point, and despite knowing it solidly for about all my life i’m not ready to hear it from another person. so i don’t say any of that when he says

“are you chinese?”

do i LooK like i want to scream, but i realize that i probably do.

“ah, my dad’s filipino, my mom’s chinese,” i answer.

i’m lying. my biological parents have so many different elements in both their dna, chinese included, that just transferred onto me. genetics people, genetics.

but i can’t bring out a punnet square and clarify to this interesting wrinkled person who eagerly waved at my camera just a few minutes ago, not to someone that probably doesn’t even know what genes are, not to someone who doesn’t know, period. easier for him and me.

that last bit’s a lie too. this sucks.

it’s a cruel world, one in which my skin isn’t dark enough to be oppressed and not light enough to be fetishized, in which i’ll still be asked if i have an accent or where i come from or applauded for having perfect english, in which i am a surprise because i’m not like “the others” but that just makes me an other. is that really much of an improvement?

being a token diverse person in the eyes of those who haven’t yet come face to face with the reality that a person can be so complex in every single sense of the word isn’t the worst thing ever, but it… isn’t fun. and it makes connecting with what little of this culture and of being a person of color i can call “mine”, because none of it seems to be, really.

like i can’t infringe on the specific opportunities for one people group despite not having those for mine either, or go to community centers created for priority neighborhood kids despite growing up one.

i don’t have any happy conclusion, but i imagine hermoine and all those other kids must’ve felt the same struggles in their weird fantasy world, somehow, in some strange way, must’ve related to not belonging. i don’t know much about fantasy worlds, so don’t kill me.

all i do know is we all have a bit of that magic in all of us, especially in the mixed and the barely there and the very much there that it makes no sense to divide ourselves by arbitrary lines that get blurred every single time.

and i wish i could answer this guy when he asks

“where do you come from”

and i wish i didn’t have to answer this question again.

~hey guys it’s me, the biggest disappointment you know, jo~

if we pull out all these causes to fight for

when do we stop fighting?

where do we draw the line?

how do we not lose our minds?

i’ve been thinking– about the way we obssess

over squares on a grid on a screen in our hands

and reshares and likes and opinions

that are worthy of attention but not of this division

like how can we save the children

when you spend your time fighting

over which ones first need saving?

the kid at apartment 128

and the kid being forced to work too late

are still trying to survive as you argue and wait

how can you ethically expect all babies to be born

without suffering in this toxic atmosphere; what was your arguing for?

it goes so much deeper than your 280 word caption

it’s not just an instagram story calling people to action

it’s the person behind the words

it’s the community trying to stop the hurt

it’s a movement crying for a moment of silence

it’s saying that we deserve to have peace and quiet

without fearing for our lives

without wondering if our kids will make it home in the night

is that a problem you worry about as well

that you’ll be grabbed out of your car

and pushed down with your hands

tied behind your back,

pleading for someone to understand

but do you?

can you?

should you?

we are not the same, our problems are unique

yet our pushing against them should make us united, not weak

over trying to fight an online comment

over generalizing a whole group of people

because they aren’t what you thought of

when you hear the word “justice”

when you see the word “lives”

they are seeking the same thing you are

only they have realized

that it is better to be a warrior in a garden

than a gardener in a war

we have lost too much already

we do not need more blood

please think about what makes you feel justified

what you support and what you deny

at the end of the day, we shouldn’t be in this rut

these issues shouldn’t have to

be divided into “me” and “you”

when it can be “us”.

we get the job done

Statue of Liberty
unsplash, amazing. me, not so much.

if i had my words at the time,

if i had my mind collected to answer your casual conversation about the news of the world and the news of the country neither of us have an official citzenship to (yet) but both consider home,

if i’d known how far into your experiences you’d lean, how proud you are of how far you’ve come, who’ve you brought and who you came back for,

if i realized that a person can so easily be shaped by what they consider right,

perhaps i wouldn’t have stayed silent as you explained why you believed systemic racism doesn’t exist.

perhaps, knowing that your mind would not be swayed from your belief that the plight of the people with the same skin as you and i was nothing more than an opportunity presented as a struggle,

that surely, because you came through your experiences successful, proud, and happy, that is every immigrant’s story, that is every person of color’s life if they would only put their minds to it,

that this couldn’t be true because it didn’t happen to you,

that it was merely a shift of blame from personal failure to the system’s,

that all you needed to cure this horrible plague called racism was to merely keep your head up and make friends of your enemies,

i would’ve been more factual, more precise, less sympathetic (because you in all your kind words are surprisingly not),

but that wouldn’t have changed anything, would it?

no, realistically, none of our talk affects what we were talking about,

however.

it affects me.

you speak with pride of your past, of your thoughts, of your opinion. you came from soldier’s guts and the will of your last name. when old dad died in the states, everyone took the papers he didn’t sign and wrote them for themselves and they simply did. it was the family way. to stick together and to grab at any chance whatsoever together.

you were my age when old dad died. you were my age when old mom and your sister had chosen to move for themselves since there was nobody to move for them. you were the first of us to live in the projects, the first to fish around in the dumpsters, the first to try, the first to survive in this country. you helped bring most of the family here. you know this, you say, you know struggle, you have friends, they’ve struggled, that is how life is.

(and you call me the pessimist.)

“assimilation” you say, raising a glass of water, “is something everyone has to do. otherwise, why bother coming to the country?”

this from the person who fears losing the family history, always comments on the new kids being born with english names, insists on learning our native tongue, always prepares a mix of foreign dishes with a side of rice because otherwise that is not a meal, this is coming from a beautiful, kind, unknowing hypocrite. you have made yourself presentable to be treated regularly (and boom, who defines what’s regular? you just admitted it’s not us), but the culture that flows in you is the culture they do not want, and so you say assimilation is good.

i refrain from mentioning residential schools and the similar mentalities even now as you comment, “oh, and the docs said i was a monkey, but that’s just one bad doc, that’s all it is.”

see, you had me til “all” and “just”.

i’m quiet, but not by desire. i need to hear this, i need to know how you think, and it is… it is like every other human who has ever thought. they are strong thoughts, brave thoughts, misguided and sad thoughts, adaptable, survivalist, idealistic, and human thoughts. i have similar ones, and all of them just echo one repeating line:

beating the system doesn’t mean the system doesn’t exist. beating the system doesn’t mean the system doesn’t exist. you’re not supposed to push through an unforgiving system, that system is supposed to help you, not hold you back

you deny this. at this point, it’s rather ironic. no, it’s just how you make the most of this opportunity, no, it’s what you choose to make of it.
and you are right, of course you are.
but you’re wrong when you say that it’s just. it’s not just. and it’s not just. both definitions.

are you so content with pushing to exist in this space that you find the cries of people just like you doing the same thing on a larger scale than you did meaningless? have you accepted that your experience has got to be every other immigrant, everyone other person of color, every other human’s experience, and therefore your outlook on life will be everyone else’s too; to just reach for the grapes that are enticingly dangled above you? to jump and jump and jump even as every time you get closer they’re whisked out of reach? that nobody can check to see who’s holding the grapes and can’t stop jumping and jumping and jumping?

perhaps you grew up to survive a life of striving. you and the hordes of older folk who think just like you, proud in their success, reluctant to see the struggles of others without giving them the same advice you gave yourself.

but i grew up without the same pride of our story, our culture, our skin. because in pursuing the “It” you boast of, we lost what the significance of who we are, and no amount of your mourning for our generation will bring it back. that’s assimilation baby, when you win, you lose.

i grew up aware of the cultural gap among my people, i grew up aware of the cultural ignorance of my people, i grew up aware that i didn’t have a people. i grew up in similar housing, similar dumpsters, not so similar struggles. it’s easier to see what’s wrong when you’re not basking in the glow of your rightness.

it makes conversations like this more painful.

like how can i tell you that our success, the filipino growth, is largely thanks to the brave Black americans whose slurs, insults, and limitations we once shared, and to feel like you have an opinion on whether lives matter is to be ignorant? that even now we have this privilege known as the model minority that hurts everyone involved, us included? that you are proud of something that shouldn’t have been as hard as it was? that we shouldn’t– and we can’t– just push for a right to exist?

i can’t tell you that. that’s something that you need to learn in as much as you have said you know.

“i’m like a puppy” you said. “you can hate me and push me away all you want but i’ll make you love me and annoy you into caring for me, and that’s how we can end racism, by making our enemies love us.”

you grinned and launched into how you started providing for old mom at 17, and i merely looked at you.

no <3.

that’s not how you treat fellow people, fellow humans, like pets. you treat them like people, worthy of care and attention and human decency by existing.

and that’s what your optimism fails to cover. people are not being treated like people, people are being treated like pawns in a game, and what we’re saying is the game isn’t fair.

for someone who insists on seeing the good in people, surely you should see the bad as well.

but i didn’t have words. perhaps i still don’t.

when i do though, i hope you give my words the same weight i have given yours, because your thoughts are important.

and so are mine.

~this immigrant’s keeping us all on our toes, jo~

all lives, blue skin

people gathering on street during daytime

i see you.

i see you, all of you, splattering bright blue paint against the blazing yellow words that cover the same streets that have been washed of its blood red stains.

i see you, white and black and rainbow, walk the streets triumphantly insisting that all lives matter, all lives matter, all lives matter, NO, ALL LIVES MATTER. ALL OF THEM.

you yell this in the face of the very lives you have literally just declared matter. you shake your fist at children who are declaring themselves to be proud of their skin, who are raising their fists and demanding that justice be served. you rip banners, you scream, you shout, you applaud the “protectors, the good guys”, you cry for general importance and to make america normal.

can you not see yourself?

can you not see the anger and fear and hate that passes through the masks you don’t wear, the very visible disease that accompanies the invisible virus we have already lost lives to. apparently your insistence to be heard trumps the need to not be sick.

one of the more passionate of you did. not. stop. yelling.

“YEAH! WELL I HAVE A HUSBAND! WHAT DO YOU HAVE?”
“EHH! WELL I HAVE A HUSBAND! WELL I HAVE A HUSBAND!”

you wave your phone, puff your chest with the words “gays for trump” printed across it, shape your face to personify total derision of the person behind the screen that is recording you, begging you to state your thoughts in peace.

sir, i ask you of all people, is it possible that despite who you are partnered with, that you do not understand what it is to love?

the whole lot of you walk away with blue hands, saluting the blue shirts, just now attributing yourself to colors. you walk in shooting view of the photographers who come to these displays of human confusion to capture it for history, and in this moment that will last for the ages,

you smirk.

when you are noticed, you smirk because you know that you will be seen.

when we’re noticed, we just make sure we are the best representation of who we are and where we come from in case that’s the last time anyone ever sees us.

can you not see?

you worship the ones who will not hesitate to pound people to the ground, to spray tear gas into kids who just happen to be there, who, if suddenly told by the powers that be that their next victims were the all lives matter people, would not hesitate to treat you with the same cruelty that you gleefully advocate for against the people who are trying to put it all to an end.

you choose to get your hands smeared in blue paint. you are not born in an unalterable dark pigment from head to toe, you do not walk out of the door knowing that you will forever be seen not for your mind or your heart, but how much or how little melanin is in your body. you can wash the paint off, you can take the uniform that is stained with the sweat and blood of another soul away to be cleaned. skin is not so easily maintained.

you put on the blue, you put on the power, you choose that, and in doing so, you let your humanness hide under your colors. we are laid raw and bare and brokenly human in ours.

i feel sorry for you.

i am sorry that i have to use words like “us” and “them, “you” and “we”, because it is undeniably certain that you do not want to seek justice, love mercy, or walk humbly with God, with your fellow humans, or even with yourself. and i pity that very much.

let me correct your sign for you.

you are currently saying that all lives matter. what you want to say is “I MATTER! I MATTER! I MATTER!”

that’s the root of it, isn’t it my dude? you are terrified of the idea of anyone else mattering except yourself.

how sad.
how pathetic.
of course you do.

but not solely you.

here is what all lives matter looks like:

arresting the cops that killed breonna taylor. addressing the very obvious inequalities in every aspect of our society. acknowledging the same heart problems that are in you are in me too. dancing in the streets with no fear of being pulled over or being shot at. holding hands with friends and unmaking enemies. no fear. no shouting. peace. joy. a coffee shop that won’t be vandalized or run out of business where people can learn to connect and thrive. smiles on people’s faces. growing bipoc businesses. to walk into a church and not be treated based on the corners of eyes or the color of skin. to know the same love and call to healing from Above is meant for us all.

can you see the possibilities? can’t you see it?

of course not. you can’t even see me. you don’t want to. you want yourself. what you know.

you chant for blue and blindly watch as black dissolves to red.

did you forget that last color runs through your veins too?

~everyone’s pushing, everyone’s fighting, jo~

you had a name

dark pathway lit with small light fixture

“I can’t breathe.”

the house is quaking with thunder, and i feel numb inside.

“I was just going home.”

you could’ve gone so many places. you could’ve been going for a walk, or to a party, or to your friend’s house, or on a mini adventure, or travelling across the world, and now… well. you’ve gone.

and you just wanted to go home.

“I’m an introvert.”

hey, me too man. you know what, sometimes i sneak out of the house just to wander down the street and watch the waves for an hour. or on top of the roof to stare at the stars. because then there’s no people, and people are scary, and sometimes people pass dangerous things, like sickness and disease and hate. you get that. you got that.

“I’m just different. That’s all.”

you were a musician. you played violin for the cats at the pet shop. you worked as a massage therapist. you liked music and people and cats and you had a story, you were different and you were beautiful.

and you were black.

that’s the only different thing anyone saw.

“I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me?

why did you apologize? you didn’t do anything wrong. and even if you did have a gun, why would that brand you as someone deserving of the treatment you received, when the very country you were living in has made such a big deal of its rights to tote around weapons? that shouldn’t have convicted you, none of this should’ve happened. they weren’t supposed to attack.

they. weren’t. supposed. to. attack.

Forgive me. All I was trying to do was become better. I will do it. I will do anything. Sacrifice my identity, I’ll do it. 

i don’t understand. i don’t understand why you said that, i don’t understand why anyone has to say that, and why nobody listens to them. i don’t know why this hurts so much, and the not knowing hurts even more.

i’ve said the same words and suffered for years for it. i’ve tried to suppress and hide so many messy, dangerous, human aspects of myself to be accepted, but to beg for my life? nobody should have to do that. nobody.

You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful and I love you.

they forced you on the ground.
they were choking you to death.
they let their cameras slip.
they were not listening.
somehow, you gave grace that they would never have even considered for yourself.
that’s astounding, in every way that hurts.

“”Try to forgive me. I’m a mood Gemini. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Ow, that really hurt.

what was done to be forgiven or punished for? walking? wearing a mask? being black? what was right in this situation that let it go unnoticed for months, that it only got brought back up after yet another person’s death? i mean, what happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? what happened to kindness? why did you say such soft words?

You are all very strong. Teamwork makes the dream work.

teamwork is for goals and dreams and futures, and collectively driving toward good. for sports and games and restaurants and the small gentle things of life. for nerf wars and water balloon fights, for games of tag and hide and seek and going places. teamwork shouldn’t be to attack a defenseless person for simply existing differently from you.

because what kind of twisted dream is it to hurt other people?

“Oh, I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to do that. I just can’t breathe correctly.”

every person that has ever existed was born crying for air. to apologize for that… to apologize for one of the first things that… that make us human?

i am so sorry.

i’m so sorry that it took ten months. ten. months. let your name be heard, for justice to be demanded. the world is a horrible place to exist sometimes, even when it knows.

they snuffed out a light, and now they’re mad because everyone’s trying to strike matches for a fire.

your name was elijah mcclain. i’m sorry we forgot.

and… and may the light you left with be picked up. soon.

because it feels so horribly dark.

~the dark comes crashing through, jo~

UPDATE: i forgot to leave sources so you can find out for yourself, and i think that’s especially important right now, so here you go:

petition

sources

you kept kneeling anyway

flag of United State of America

how am i feeling?

i’d answer in unspeakable words. i’d raise my fists and swing them violently. i’d scream and shout and storm into every place of power and demand and answer for their ignorance and failure.

i hurt so so much this doesn’t even begin to cover it

george floyd is the name that’s circulating throughout social media today. i can’t bring myself to share the specifics because you already know or have seen his murder. you’ve seen his and you’ve seen ahmaud arbery’s and you will see so many more black men, women, and everyone else’s names in tags because it. never. ends.

i am tired of seeing the names, the statistics grow, the fear spread, as my fellow humans beings, my fellow people of color, people who could’ve been my friend’s father or my brother’s coworker or my teacher die for absolutely nothing but their skin. i’m tired of mentally checking the locations and hoping that nobody i know was affected. i’m tired of this, i’m so tired, i’m tired that the only thing that’s being done by those in power is containment and maintaining order. order is more important than someone’s life? when did that become a thing?

all the bad words rush to my mind. i hate this i hate this i hate this

i’ve been told that by focusing on the wrongs of america and the wrongs caused by racism that i ignore the positive changes and restrict any real change if all people are gonna think of white america is the bad stuff. i’ve been told that by making blog posts such as this i am incorrectly showing america. at the time i pointed out that both blunt force and public persuasion was necessary and i would appreciate those who insisted on seeing the good as well as the bad while i would do my best to be as much of a voice for both as possible.

no more. those sentiments are not relevant to the current situation that people are dying, and as such are not supported by me or by the millions of poc people with me. this is a sentiment made by white americans and western sympathizers who cannot accept the idea that the country they love so much had terrible ideals that have led to horrible evil results and instead of being addressed and confronted on main, have been swept under the rug in the attempt to make america great again. america was never, at any point, great. america, along with every other country, had chosen the highlights that make up its history and blatantly forget the horrors it has created.

unless we as a people rise up against this, we will not get to have history written for us, and nothing will change. and this will fade out of significance just like the millions of black people whose names we can no longer remember. and we will keep dying. black people will keep dying.

this is america, where you’re allowed to protest for people to open up shop during a death plague for a haircut but you’ll be attacked with tear gas because someone was choked to death on his stomach by a police officer. are you truly so proud to be an american? born and raised in a land that has thrived on the misfortunes of others?

this isn’t okay. this isn’t okay. this isn’t okay.

they’ve started retweeting all lives matter. because of course, all lives are being discriminated against, being attacked, assaulted, scorned, raped, scrutinized, imprisoned, murdered, all lives evens the damage so the guilt doesn’t fall on anyone but is expressed through social media and shoved aside. no. you cannot justify your refusal to say black lives matter by saying all lives matter, because it’s more than obvious that they don’t. not in america.

when will you realize? when will you see it?

i’m trying so so hard not to swear, not to get too emotional, not to purely vent, and i’d appreciate if you didn’t read through this and diminish it in your minds because of my emotional bias, or treat this with sympathy. sympathy will not bring them back and sympathy is the last thing we need.

i need you to feel enraged, a sin has been committed and the sinners think they’ve done the world a service and you’re just standing there, skeptical, feeling bad but deep down thinking “well we should be quick to hate, we should hear the full story.” you don’t make the same argument for those who have abortions, why is the life of someone who actually made it into this earth somehow not as important enough to march for, to sign petitions, to protest? where is your fight for life for black people, asian people, latina people, people of color? where is your fight for life?

except stored oh so carefully for yourself?

we are crying with raised fists, marching and begging you not to shoot, hands up, don’t shoot, hands up, don’t shoot, hands up and we are down on the ground, eyes full of the hate you have gassed us with, backs bent as we learn that we are little flecks in the great plan to make white supremacy accepted again, when it always has been. we beg we cry, we look you in the eyes. we tell you that we can’t breathe. and what do you do?

you crush our throats with your knees. we’re not human enough for you to choke us with your hands, because it’s easier to get rid of bloodied uniforms than to wash it off your faint, pale skin.

with all the asterisks to cover the pain i feel, i am so mad. i am not black, but i and as many of us as there is grieve and support our black brothers and sisters. for the bloggers in this space. for the artists. for the storytellers. for my civics teacher who had to have seen everything and still chose to log into class and hold a lecture on the dred scott case, teaching a group of kids, a bunch of ragtag nerd debate kids what his past and their future will look like. for the princesses and the princes who were told they could never be royalty with natural hair. i am so sorry. i’m so grieving.

yet despite this, let my goal be crystal clear: we are not here to fight hate with hate. we will show love and kindness even in our anger and passion and injustice because that’s something that racism can never have.

to begin to address love, we must confront the hate. to make room for change, we must gather the wrong and burn it. there is no way to move on unless we force ourselves to stop. and that process is messy and ugly and will not be solved with me ranting to the void. it takes change, it takes understanding, it takes heart, it takes love, so so much love that is sadly hidden through my screaming. it takes and it takes and it takes.

lin manuel miranda called america a beautiful symphony. we’re at that part in the piece where all the notes sound wrong, probably because a whole section has chosen to amplify themselves.

and in doing so, the other sections can’t breathe.

i can’t explain how much i hurt, it’ll be as forgotten as all of our cries in the end.

~so the world’s unfair, jo~

the covid, chinese, and chaotic conversation you don’t want to hear (but you probably should)

brown backpack on brown floor tiles
unsplash not me

(what you are about to read starts from the middle of a conversation that was initially between enni and jo, but was determined by both to be released due to its important subject matter. 

sources will be linked, and shots will be fired.)


Oh boy here we go

hmmmmmmm should we write an intro

enni

enni

Enni

Meh. Intros are overrated. 

Fair.

Let’s start with rage.

……… what kind of rage? hold up i’m gonna send something we can rage about

Oh boy I’m scared.

(at this point jo sent a comment about the Chinese Communist Party on an IG story saying that people should not consider covid19 the “chinese” virus.)

well it looks like we can start ranting now. i’ll start. first, THAT WASN’T THE DANG POINT 

The CCP is horrible – I think we all know that but that doesn’t have anything to do with oppression of Asians. 

it’s also fair to mention that communism isn’t isolated to just the chinese. a lot of what we see in america has communist ideals, but we don’t talk about that either. also, communism is an ideal, not a race-specific thing. Gah.

EXACTLY. Also stop calling the virus a race/government/politics related name. Just call it by its scientific name because it exists for a reason.

t h a n k you. i said it before and i’ll say it again, but when the head of a whole country starts calling this the chinese virus, he’s probably not a good head. because… that’s really racist and we just happen to excuse it? i talked about this on spirit up and i got someone telling me “aww XD XD” as if it was just a joke and it was all for kicks and giggles. it’s not. especially if you’re chinese, which, oh surprise– A LOT OF AMERICANS ARE.

*chokes* I’m sorry but this is not a joke. People have been screaming at Asian Americans to get off planes since this virus began, calling them disgusting. Please don’t minimize this issue like that. Anything that affects people’s lives is a BIG DEAL. 

right? and i hear so many counter arguments that “but but white people are treated exactly the same in other countries”, which is just irritating because white people in other countries have usually traveled from the states– a major hotbed for the virus. those other countries are doing their jobs. very different. it’s not just limited to the usa either.

I’m 100% Chinese but I have lived here all my life. Why are you pushing 92-year-olds dementia sufferers to the ground? Spitting on Asians? Screaming at them? Harassing them? Physically attacking them? Shaming them? STABBING them? Two Koreans were stabbed in Montreal. The Korean Consulate had to warn KOREANS to be careful instead of the government attacking the messed up racist thinking of ATTEMPTED MURDERERS. VICTIMS SHOULD NOT NEED TO BE CAREFUL. THE ATTACKERS SHOULD BE TAUGHT, RESTRAINED, AND GIVEN CONSEQUENCES.

the infuriating thing with this is that when people think of an american, they don’t think about people of color unless there’s a hyphen in front of american. ethnicity doesn’t equal nationality. there are chinese born in america for just as long or longer than some “actual” americans. born and bred doesn’t just apply for white people, contrary to popular opinion. 

People are downsizing Asian racism because, “hey – we Americans are being affected too. Look at all the lost jobs and closed-down businesses.” First off, like Jo said, Americans does not equal white. Second of all, NOT JUST WHITE PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS. Employers are letting go of people of ALL races, not just if you’re Caucasian. I 100% understand how terrible it is to lose your job and the economic instability, but why are you limiting it to white people? Why do you protest job loss but stand to the side and maybe even quietly clap racism? EVERYONE is being affected by this.

let’s pull up some stats as well– if we look at income and standard of living for white people vs people of color, we’ll find that there’s a wide gap between the two. i saw a post with some lady protesting for people to go back to work so she could have her hair cut. how many poc moms trying to figure out how to feed their kids do you think outnumber that one, incredibly small minded person? 

Many of the businesses that went bankrupt or immediately had a drop in customers are ASIAN businesses. This is obviously not at all to say that white people cannot struggle financially or ignore those who are– we acknowledge them and support all white people who have lost  their jobs and having a rough time paying rent or putting food on their tables . This is not to say that your job fight as a white person is any less important. It is to say to please be aware of the ever increasing racism to POC, especially Asians, as well. We should not be afraid to walk the streets because of your messed up brain.(…)

read the second part on enni’s blog here

twitter bio talk

We're on a never ending quest to find the very best artistic plant backgrounds, screensavers & wallpapers. Follow our Plant Photography board for minimalist plant art, aesthetic, & close up inspiration.#SativaScienceClub #PlantArt #PlantPhotography

i was scrolling on twitter waiting for class to start on zoom (because that’s a thing now) and joe walker’s bio stuck out in all the itty bitty textposts about cats and covid and cheese curdles

most bios go like this:

*insert name*/ *insert age*/ *insert pronouns*/ *insert hobbies/ *insert any random thing here*

*cutesy quote stolen from tumblr*

*lists every single project they were lucky to earn money from*

*occupation followed with a phd*

*very clearly a fandom reference waiting to be noticed*

*something absolutely absurd*

joe walker’s went like this:

be excellent to each other

no periods, nothing formal

just be excellent to each other.

and i thought that was cool.

because we’re not really good at doing that.

at the very least we have “be nice” or “be the bigger person”, like somehow to swell oneself up to be superior than your equally flawed fellow person under the pretense of being better is a good thing. and who knows that in trying to be the bigger person, we just prove that we’re the smallest of them all? and what’s wrong with being small? who decided these sizes would mean moral competence?

we’re just confusing like that, aren’t we?

people are the worst at being people. they lie, they cheat, they hurt, they curse, they invent laws to keep other people out, they create a world that has decades worth of trauma that may never ever properly heal. is it the sinner in need of a savior? is it the way it’s always been? is it our own passively accepted depravity? is it all of the above?

but joe walker’s just like. be excellent to each other.

we don’t really use excellent casually, so to read it in a twitter bio hits differently. excellent. what is excellent? the spam of kudos on a particularly precious piece of fanfic worked so hard on? a beautiful photograph? a catchy song? the hearts of all the dudes and dudettes and to-be-decided that are just exuding love and care into a broken world by showing up and doing their jobs every single day? is it the livestreams and the youtube videos and the singing comps? is it all of it?

maybe excellence is so commonly simple it’s the rarest thing of them all.

i’m not sure where i was going with that. i’m not sure that this post, or this blog, or this person can even be considered excellent.

but i figure it can’t hurt to try. to reach out, to speak up, to fall hard, to truly care, to talk to that kid not really responding on the chat, to not hesitate to call someone out on their small-mindedness, to be aware of my own dangerous flaws and habits and fix them, to be both accepting and cautious, to not care what people will say or think, to not let my fears control me, to truly be okay with being the messed up, broken, happy person i am, to get to the point where i can look at the reflection in the mirror and actually smile, to be someone for someone. maybe not everyone but at least one someone.

the excellence thing could easily be taken to the point of humanistic tendencies. but so could hate. so could fear. so could anger. maybe it’s better to err on the side of goodness.

at least on our bios we can say we we tried,

and maybe in saying that, we actually start to be excellent.

that would be cool.

joe walker cool.

(he’d know. he played voldemort.)

~each and every one of our immortal souls, jo~