Andy Kim Profile picture
30 Mar, 11 tweets, 4 min read
I cannot get this shameful video out of my mind today. Attacker yelled “You don’t belong here.” But doorman’s actions said same thing when he shut door on a broken woman lying on sidewalk. We as a nation need to talk about bystanders to hate (THREAD) #WeBelong #StopAsianHate
When that door closes, it sends a clear message. It says I’m not going to help. It says this is none of my business. It says to the woman, you don’t belong in this building; keep your problems outside. It says this is not my responsibility. 2/11
I feel like this is so metaphorical to the challenges we face as a nation right now. We as a society are having a crisis of empathy. What we are losing is that important sense of sharedness. Whether that is shared experiences, shared truths, shared space, shared identity. 3/11
As we grow more siloed, we start to see one another as the “other.” Without sharedness we lose touch with responsibility. What are our responsibilities when we are neither perpetrator nor direct victim? What about when we witness hate or suffering of others with our own eyes 4/11
It is difficult to talk about bystanders because it’s hard to cast judgment when we weren’t there. Would I have stepped in? I don't know for sure. Instead of coming from a place of hypotheticals/moral superiority, I’m considering principles to recommit to. 5/11
IT IS OUR BUSINESS: If we see someone else hurt, it's still our business. Even if doorman didn’t intervene in attack for fear of personal harm, he and others should have checked on woman afterwards. Action is not binary. It doesn’t have to be superhero or nothing. 6/11
IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY: The lack of action during the attack and then shutting the door after threat is over speaks less to fear and more to callousness. Closing the door delineates that this is not my world and therefore I don’t need to act. I don’t have responsibility.7/11
Responding to the pain of others isn’t about charity, it is about responsibility. We have responsibility to those around us, as they do for us. We treat others as we want to be treated. We help others as we hope to be helped in our moments of need. 8/11
YOU BELONG/WE BELONG: The words violently hurled at this woman “You don’t belong here” are intentionally meant to draw distance and isolate. Let us commit to overpowering that rising tide of hate by speaking in chorus “You belong. We belong.” This is my family. #WeBelong 9/11
BUILD COMMUNITY: I shared last week that I believe the opposite of feeling foreign is to be loved in a community. My mom told me comforting words: “You are never alone. Whatever problems come, let us know and we will go through together.” Community is our sharedness. 10/11
Many of us are outraged because we see how the growing sense of “other” has instigated/fueled violence. I feel it too and like you I’m still trying to process all this hurt. We don’t have all the answers right now, but let’s at least start by opening the door (END)

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More from @AndyKimNJ

28 Mar
I flew down to Atlanta this morning to pay my respects to those lost in the shootings and show our solidarity against hate. I’m also here to listen and hear from the community what we can do to heal. #StopAsianHate
I’ll be sharing some of those stories on this thread. I hope you’ll follow with me and keep the victims in your thoughts today.
We’re traveling from the site of the first shooting to the second. It’s a long drive, and on this drive something becomes very clear: the killer’s intent to turn his hate targeting AAPI into something even more horrible.
Read 6 tweets
27 Mar
My 5 yr old boy came home and asked me why bigger kid kept calling him Chinese Boy. My son, confused, told the boy I’m a New Jersey Boy. He laughed it off but my eyes welled up. 50 yrs ago my parents immigrated here but we cannot shake shadow of foreignness. #StopAsianHate THREAD
I was sad because my son shared what was likely his first ever experience of discrimination. For me it wasn’t first time I heard bias about him. People told me he has cute slanty Chinese eyes or it’s great we teach him English as primary lang as if our default is foreigner. 2/13
When someone joked about whether he was born knowing Kung Fu, it reminded me of the Jackie Chan taunts I got that started “innocent” but then turned dangerous as I got older and found myself attacked by drunk men seeking to prove their strength by beating up “Jackie Chan” 3/13
Read 13 tweets
20 Mar
I’ll never forget the feeling when I learned that my own government questioned my loyalty. Before Congress I worked in diplomacy at StateDept. I once received a letter banning me from working on Korea issues just because of my last name. I was stunned. (THREAD) #StopAsianHate
I had previously worked in Afghanistan for State. I had a top secret security clearance. But here was a letter saying we don’t trust you. What confused me more is that I didn’t even apply to work on Korea. The StateDept was proactively telling me they didn’t trust me. 2/13
And it wasn’t just me. I learned that other Asian Americans at State had same thing happen. It was called “assignment restrictions” - a bureaucratic way of saying “failing loyalty test.”… 3/13
Read 13 tweets
18 Mar
I was asked if murder was racially motivated if killer wasn’t yelling KungFlu? Answer is yes. The killer fetishized Asian women and targeted them to murder(dominate) because of his hypersexualized objectification. AAPI racism isn’t just about Covid. #StopAsianHate (THREAD)
The fact that the killer doesn’t see his violence as racist is exactly the problem. The killer’s actions were motivated by the way he saw Asian women. Regardless of what he said, his actions and violence spoke the truth of his motivations. 2/7
And for members of the AAPI community, his message of hate is loud and clear. It’s a message that hits at the intersection of this hate crime. We don’t need to hear his spin, now is a time to instead listen to AAPI women who sadly know this discrimination/fear personally. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
17 Mar
There was a mass shooting in America last night. Sadly that is not uncommon. Many of the victims were AAPI. Tragedy sits at the intersection of multiple broken parts of our society. To honor victims and save lives, we must make progress across all. #StopAsianHate (THREAD)
I’ve been asked if the violence against AAPI is new, and if it is getting better with the increased recent visibility. The answer to both is no. Discrimination/violence existed before COVID and it will continue after. And sadly, I don’t think we have seen the worst of it. 2/13
I can’t tell you how much it means to me and others that anti-AAPI violence has gotten attention. Biden’s mention in his speech was powerful. Now we need follow through. Give AAPI communities more resources/coordination. Give us tools to counter. Listen to our needs. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
13 Mar
Agnes Chow just spent 24th birthday behind bars fighting for democracy in Hong Kong. While locked up, China this week imposed law meant to extinguish democracy once and for all. Here’s why Communist Party is terrified of this 24 yr old woman and others(THREAD) #StandWithHongKong
ORIGINAL BROKEN PROMISE: When Agnes was 7 months old, China agreed to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy for 50 years until the year 2047. When skeptics questioned China’s promise during the 1997 handover, China’s premier said China “would prove her words by her deeds.” 2/19
ONE COUNTRY TWO SYSTEMS: The Basic Law agreement sets forward "ultimate aim" for chief executive to be chosen by "universal suffrage." Agnes phrases it quite simply as “We want to choose our future by ourselves.” 3/19
Read 19 tweets

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