Monday, November 14, 2016
November 9, 2016
Dear American People:
From Tuesday till today, it feels like life has changed so much already since Tuesday’s election. This is a difficult transition. I wonder how this election will now affect us all personally.
Because of the negative language and rhetoric of hate and fear prevalent during the Trump campaign, I am observing that some people suddenly feel the freedom to express their prejudices or whatever hate they had been harboring in their hearts, which they have never done before.
I have been reflecting these last few days on my experiences in the past, growing up in Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey, and parts of Los Angeles in the 70’s through the 90’s, and thinking about my friends in school. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what was wrong in those relationships I had with them, and couldn’t quite pinpoint what was uncomfortable about it but I always had an uncertain feeling with some of them. I could sense they were feeling it too but they couldn’t express it. But I always felt like I didn’t quite fit in even if I was good friends with people who were not my ethnicity. I really tried, and worked really hard to try to fit in, but there was nothing I or my family could do to change the fact that we were Asian American (even if we were American citizens) or change people’s prejudices towards Asians that might’ve been engrained or passed down through generations. I don’t fault them as some people learn these prejudices from previous generations even if it’s not right. But I am saddened and yet enlightened even moreso by this realization now.
Because of social media and technology, I can see now that because of the negative vitriol and hateful language encouraged by Trump and his campaign as a tactic to win votes in key states, it has also given people, even people I’ve known before, permission to now express consciously or unconsciously their prejudices about people for the first time. People I would never expect are now showing their true selves. If this kind of negativity and hateful rhetoric is already happening, what will happen if and when Trump takes office?
I worry that people who have been harboring ill-will, a sense of entitlement, or prejudices will now feel the courage to express these prejudices and act on them without conscience or fear of the consequences. I am saddened by this and trying to gain a spiritual perspective so I may equip my daughter, my friends and family, clients and students, on what to say and how to proceed moving forward. My job as a hypnotherapist/life coach and spiritual teacher is to help people understand each other, find the lessons in everything, and see all sides of a person or situation. But to justify hateful rhetoric, bias, or promoting prejudice is not something I want my child or any child and any person to endure in our lifetime. It is not tolerable.
It was painful when I was little to hear people tell me that I couldn’t be friends with certain people because I was Asian. It was really hard to see racist letters strung up on the walls of some schools I attended asking us to go back to China even though we were American citizens. It was really difficult to know that we could only live in certain apartment buildings because we were people of color. Those were really hard times. It was really difficult to live in isolation, and to walk the streets with everyone staring at you because we were the only Asian people they had ever laid eyes on. I am sure it was a big surprise, and I could understand their curiosity. Some people were polite but never totally welcoming of us into their community. Those were really challenging times. We were like pilgrims in a new world.
I really hope people remember that we should always treat each other the way we want to be treated. That kindness and love and respect for your fellow man are the values of utmost importance that we want to teach our kids. We are role models for our children and how we want to live our lives and how we want to see the world. We are all a part of the human race.
God Bless America and ALL our people.
Panney Wei, C.Ht.