Ok my fellow Asians—we need to have a serious talk for a minute.
I love Chinatown with all my heart. I feel for my people who are majority poor, many undocumented, many non-English speaking, all suffering from sinophobia due to COVID. My mother grew up in a tenement apartment. She worked in a sweatshop there as a child labourer! And I spent countless days in that same tenement apartment with my ba bak and the whole family growing up. I see an acupuncturist at Kam Wo. I go to dim sum with my gung gung regularly. There is no place in this city that quite holds my love this way, and I am in open, messy, deep love with New York. Everyone who knows me knows this. I love this city to my bones.
So I understand. You are hurting. I feel that. I get it. These businesses are not owned by people who can take this hit. You’re afraid. That’s ok. We can do something about that. We can organise. We can fundraise. We can increase the neighbourhood watch. If Chinese people are great at something, it is collective power. The Hong Kong protesters are a beautiful example of this. But if you are siding with the police in this, you are part of the problem. And you are a young Asian leftist not having these hard conversations with your parents, your grandparents, you are part of the problem.
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