There’s been quite a bit of chatter about discrimination against Asians recently. Even as we’re celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage Month, hostile commentary around the “Chinese virus” continues to circulate. Speaking with Shaila Manyan and Curtis Chin today on a webinar, we discussed the need for empathy before judgment, for consideration before fear. 

As Asian Pacific Americans, we should be able to do our part by wearing masks, without fear of being slandered or attacked. For the same reasons/self-evident truths, African American men should be able to go jogging without fear of getting shot. 

And I believe it goes both ways. Just as what information we take in plays a part in shaping our thoughts, the way we perceive how we’re treated shapes our attitudes. So, on both sides, in fact, on every side – let’s choose empathy and extend grace.

Right now, it strikes me that we don’t need to socially distance. In fact, we should come together socially, more than ever before, even while we’re physically distancing.