It’s hard and uncomfortable to talk about race—but I have to tell you this story.
I’m always saddened and surprised at how much people roll their eyes at it. At how much we’re unwilling to hear each other. It’s why I’m always scared to bring it up.
When I share I’ve experienced racism, I’ve been called crazy, oversensitive, dramatic, or a liar. “You’re reading into it too much” or “It’s all in your head” or “That doesn’t happen anymore.” Is it always racism? Maybe not. But without confronting ourselves, there’s no hope of healing and accountability. Then our stuff stays hidden and continues to destroy.
In this video, I discuss the two most dangerous lies we tell that prevent us from hearing each other. Whether it’s race, gender, mental health, culture, class, or faith: we all get dismissed in some ways. We need to hear each other more, not less. Real compassion is not comfortable, but confronts the injustice that has been ignored. Compassion challenges us to be better.
In particular, it seems no one cares about the Asian-American experience at all. When I talk about it, it’s always ghost town. I am invisible. I know my story is not as hard as many others; I’m generally lucky. But it’s still a lonely thing when nobody hears you—especially when no one believes you. My hope is that even if your story isn’t like mine, you would still hear me, and that I would hear you too.
[Thank you to Moody Publishers for sharing this video on Instagram.]
If a friend of yours who showed no signs of racism ever just happened to get mad at you about something and called you a racial slur, what would you do?
Hey my friend. That’s terrible that this happened to you, and I’m sorry.
That’s also a very, very big yikes for me.
The short answer here is that your friend is most likely a racist, and it’s a good idea to drop them.
Some words are so charged, violent, and historically poisonous that they should never be spoken, certainly never from a friend you trusted, whether they were angry or not. For me, that would be a red flag, dealbreaker, and burned bridge all in one. I would have an extremely difficult time forgiving, much less trusting, this person again.
Before that sounds too harsh, here’s a story that my friend told me.