March 29, 2021
Yesterday’s very peaceful solidarity event to show love and draw attention to the hate crimes and discrimination against Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the US was really beautiful. And it was thought provoking for me too.
I thought about who I am. How I define myself / self-identify. About my kids, who aren’t genetically related to me and the way they might or might not identify themselves in the future.
But the closing thought that I left with yesterday came from one of the speakers. They gave a little history lesson to us Sonoma County 21st century residents. They recounted the story of how Asian Americans (Chinese Americans specifically) were driven out and violently discouraged from living, working, and owning small businesses in Sonoma County in the late 19th Century. Despite the fact that the vineyards here at that time depended on an Asian immigrant workforce.
What struck me was what they said at the end. That when they looked around at all the people gathered in the Healdsburg square yesterday and saw all of those proud Asian Americans and proud Pacific Islanders, that they were surprised and in awe. Because it was our presence here in Sonoma County that showed our perseverance. And that our persistence was our resistance.
That was so powerful.
And what I want to say today goes even one step farther.
Our resilience is our resistance.
And resilience is what we’re working on for ourselves every day. And it is what we want to teach our kids.
How do we build a brighter future for ourselves, our families, and our communities? Through teamwork. With grit and determination. With persistence. And with resilience. And most of all with love.
What we need is a cultural change. It starts with a groundswell. We are the groundswell. We can make it happen.