By Touzong Thao, Clarion Staff Writer, for the “What I Didn’t Expect to Learn this Year, But Did” series
Just as for many people in the event-filled year, 2020 remains a notable year to be remembered.
2020 has provided a plethora of lessons that many could not have expected — nor would be preferred — but was given an influence not just to my own view but to many others as well.
It is clear. Social issues are still persistent. The commotions from the Black Lives Matter movements and the retaliations of the Police Departments have shown the massive truth of systemic racism within the American Judicial System. The systemic racism that has always been talked about in the past as if it stayed in the grave has been opened up for discussion on how the history books still affect the modern day. It has raised the conversation of police reform, modern day racism, and corruption within the legal system. It was as if this year was preparing to give a time to those, who thought racism was dead and gone, to remember that the world is still not perfect.
I learned that the world is still a place that can uphold the evil within the people and that even the best of individuals cannot receive their own justice. It is within the human mind that evil persists and that the world has been living in a facade of joy.
Those of Asian heritaged being attacked out of pure xenophobia in the streets due to the stereotypes such as starting the pandemic of COVID-19. Being Asian-American myself, I have thought that we had it easier than some minorities. Not due to the myth that Asians are somehow better than others, but that we are ignored in society. Our problems in America are constantly dug underneath the ground as if we are not worth the attention from the media or the government. Even with us being ignored, the Asian community is still attacked with blind eyes. Not yet is the world ready for a conversation about racism when even Asians, who had been told to be the “model minority”, were still attacked by those who gave us that “privilege” branding. I have learned that racism is still a heavy influence within and towards the Asian community and in how people who have been told to be living in the greatest of all countries are the ones who act the poorest.
From every political view, I can see my community divided over what is right, wrong, or justified. With those having the view that there is no such thing as systemic racism but one’s own behavior that causes their issues; to the people who say it is within the government that upholds the inequality within the system.
It is wrong to say there is nothing wrong with the system that plays games with a person of color. Perhaps those who view that there is no such thing as systemic racism have never thought that minorities only had gotten the privilege to vote after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. That is not long ago compared to now as a person who grew up in that time could be someone’s grandparents today. And now, minorities are given some privileges just like the majority, however the treatment is still the same. The racist rhetoric still persists as it was only a generation ago when major change happened. It takes more than one generation to eradicate hatred.
It is a privilege these days to encounter an enlightenment of the cold, hard truth. It is not every day that someone can finally let go of that veil that society covered their eyes with. Hatred is a curse that haunts all of humanity, but still it is sad to see and realize that the world is not what it seems to be.
Whatever comes next in the future will always be something to be learned from. Taking off the disillusion of a perfect world is a scary process, especially for someone who holds an optimist view. I will never uphold a pessimistic eye, but I will always try to broaden my perspective to get rid of the illusion that I and the world placed on myself.
History is in the past, but the past does not stay in the past. It repeats, but things can change if we decide to change our community.