Ten years from now, when this pandemic is hopefully as distant of a memory as Lady Gaga’s meat dress…it’s going to be really interesting to see how 2020 impacted life going forward.
Everything from health and travel regulations, to the impact of distance learning and working on our children and employers, to the population balance of urban vs. rural, to how the entertainment industry and crowd-bearing events recover.
It will be very interesting to see how the country bounces back, or bounces in a completely different direction all together.
But one thing that will be particularly interesting to see, is how it recovers from such a potent and vehemently divisive – not only election season – but ideological divide in our nation.
From both sides — there are some extreme, extreme camps of thought. Case in point…
I was taking a walk with my special gentleman through Times Square last weekend. It was a beautiful day, and we decided to get some fresh air before what appears to be a looming lockdown.
And as we’re just walking hand in hand down the sidewalk, this woman — probably 36, no mask — gets up in my face like a whirlwind. She has this crazed look in her eye, and she looks directly into my eyes and goes, “I’m gonna bomb your country.”
It was in this intense – don’t mess with me – hushed tenor that gave me chills down my spine. It was the kind of look and sound that a serial killer would have.
I was shaken up, but my boyfriend steered us out of there, and then we both kind of laughed it off, as…”typical NYC.”
But that stayed with me, obviously, for quite some time. “Bomb your country.” YOUR country.
Now, here is where I have to interject something kind of out of left field.
I…look like I could be half-Asian.
Nearly every new acquaintance I meet asks me if I am; I get numerous private messages on Instagram about it every week; my acting agent has me listed as “ethnically ambiguous.” When I’m on photo shoots, the makeup artist always assumes I’m Asian. I get cast in shows as the mother/sister of Asian children.
I even did a video advertisement on social media recently for a Korean Skincare brand. (Which — by the way, if you use my code, “Beauty20” you get 20% off their Magnet Mask — it’s legitimately awesome…check it out here.)
But anyway — I don’t know if it’s the shape of my eyes, or my face shape, or my dark hair, or complexion…but this German/Irish gal from Ohio passes an Asian woman!
Which, to be clear, is amazing. I think Asian people are absolutely stunning, so I take it as a major compliment!
But thinking about that Times Square incident, I realized that this woman wanted to bomb “my country” because she thought I was Asian, and therefore “responsible” for the Coronavirus — or as some refer to it, as “The China Virus.” She thought that “my country” was “responsible” for the “Wuhan Flu” (as some also call it), and had so much hatred and prejudice in her heart that she was literally accosting Asian people on the street.
How tragically, tragically sad.
This woman had drank that Koolaid, and let such extreme ideology of hate influence her actions, and words, and clearly — her wellbeing. It lead her to make a snap judgement about me, just from the shape of my eyes that she saw above my mask.
And sadly, that’s not the only instance of such prejudicial hatred surrounding Asian people during the pandemic. During the lockdown-lockdown last March, my boyfriend would send me videos of Asian men and women getting harassed or physically assaulted in the streets because of their nationality, and being “linked by heritage” to Wuhan and the origins of the Coronavirus.
It was just disgusting to see.
And unfortunately, this is just one instance. There are examples on both sides of extreme political thought. Sure, she was an extremist on the right wing. But all summer, we saw radicals on the left looting and rioting shops and businesses, all having bought into their own extreme political ideological thinking.
And what’s the scariest thing about all this, is that it is those are the loudest voices,– the squeaky wheels which get the grease — thus, shaping our politics, our preconceived notions about the “other political party,” and the news stories broadcast on a national and global level.
So where do we go from here? How do we heal such deep-seeded beliefs and prejudices? What is the solution?
Because we are going to have to learn how to coexist peacefully and in a respectful manor, or this country will tear itself apart at the seams.
As for prejudicial treatment of Asians, or anyone for that matter? That is an injustice that absolutely must come to an end. It is ignorant. It is wrong. And frankly, it’s just downright sad: because if you judge someone, you’re missing the opportunity to love them.
This spring and summer was the season of Black Lives Matter. Conceptually, that was good and important. (What the actual BLM organization stands for — that’s a horse of a different color.)
But what is true, is that every. single. life. matters. No matter the skin color. The nationality. The education level. Political affiliation. Religion or sexual orientation. Every life. From the womb to natural death — every life matters. Has dignity. Has value. Has an inherent worth.
Because at the end of the day, we are all children of God. That is what unites us all. That is what is going to bridge the divide, and heal the deeply divisive rift in this country: realizing that we are all on the same team.
It is my deepest prayer that we can set aside differences and remember that we are all on the same team, and headed in the same direction: to Heaven. And we should be striving to help one another in our journey towards our eternal home.
((And almost in perfect orchestration, I literally just heard out my window, “Watch where you’re going, you F***ING C*** SUCKER!“))
Looks like we’ve got a long way to go on that front. That, or maybe, like my Times Square Friend, there are just a lot of really angry people walking around these city streets.
Guess we’ll never know.
But one thing’s for sure…God’s got one heck of a sense of humor. And he’s trying to tell me to wrap it up!
Until next time…
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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