What I think

I can’t help feeling seriously inadequate right now that all me and my friends can talk about is keeping away from the street and hoping that no Asian stories getting looted or set on fire. The immigrants community is a little out of loop from the surrounding society. We take stricter caution for coronavirus and some people I know haven’t been out of their home for months; we stay away from an unrest no matter how big it is. Often we are not even interested in watching news about it or talking about what’s going on unless it really affects our life. And we invent excuses for our inertia. For example, our excuses for not voting is that only the votes in swing states count for something; our excuses for not participating in a protest or any protest–no excuse is provided since the word “protest” has never crossed our mind and psychologically we don’t even think excuses are called for.

I’ve never had a run in with police. Same as most of my friends. However I did hear about unpleasant things happening to friends of my friends. One guy was arrested in Newark when a woman approaching him and negotiating prices for sex with him. It turns out the woman is an undercover police officer and he was driving past an area busy with prostitutes. Another guy was on his way to an open house in an expensive township in Bergen county. He prospered for several years, bought a BMW, thought Central Jersey is beneath him, wanted to move to an exclusive neighborhood in the north. It turned out the town’s police car followed him all the way to the open house, stopped him, and questioned him. When we heard the story we were happy that the policeman put an end to his social climbing ambition and we teased him about it ever since. He’s one of us and should stay in Central Jersey forever with us. Then there’s another guy who parked outside of a grocery store in New York City one weekend and a team of policemen dragged him out and arrested him. It turned out to be a mis-identification. We Asians do look alike, don’t we? When he was released several hours later, he didn’t receive an apology, but rather he was told that he had an unpaid NYC ticket, as if that’s sufficient reason to rough him up.

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