Feeling my grief, anger and exhaustion from the Atlanta shootings

I don’t know how to write this. It is 1am and I am exhausted. I don’t know if my words make sense. But my heart is urging me on.

Atlanta shooting – 8 people died, 6 of whom are Asian Women.

The police said the man ‘had a sexual addiction and it was a really bad day’… ‘too early to say if it is racially motivated…’

On social media, the same police officer posted a T-shirt “COVID-19 imported virus from Chy-Na” and encouraged everyone to buy one just last year.

I couldn’t process it initially. My head was analysing. I felt numb.

And as I got more involved in a chat group of Asian-Australian movers and shakers, I started to drop into it.

Then a few hours later, my body caught up.

Suddenly a deluge of complex topics came crashing onto me. I felt waves and waves of emotion charge at me. Anger, grief, despair, exhaustion, pain, trauma. The only thing that I could do was post in a work forum, then in chat groups with my sisters, my Biodanza family and LinkedIn. My words came fumbling out, as they are right now. I didn’t/don’t know how to write about it, my brain hasn’t yet aligned with my body and feelings. My brain thought I was playing the ego-card – speaking out to get attention.

But no, my heart and body were urging me to cry out.

It felt like a call for unity with my Asian family. To call for support from our allies. A big part of me wants to act. But how? I do not know yet.

I cried over dinner. I am grateful to be with mum and dad this week, and as I sobbed into my mother’s arms, I felt the generations of female oppression in my ancestry. Bound feet, men with multiple wives, baby girls killed because they could not carry the family name and be a financial ‘burden’, women told they are worthless and stupid.

So why do I feel this?

I feel this because there are so many women forced into sex-work. Being oppressed and controlled – both by white men and by our own people. Sexualised as objects. Overflowing into the workplace. Power and Control.

I feel this because I see our experiences minimalised and oppressed. Someone with as much power as the police are saying the man was ‘having a really bad day’ and ‘he was at the end of his rope’.

I feel this because of colonisation – of one ethnicity feeling more superior another.

I feel this because often choices are limited for many Asian women due to poverty, survival.

I feel this because it’s been over a year of Asians being the target of COVID -19 related racism globally.

I feel this because of generations of racism towards Asians.

I feel this because again, it’s taken the deaths of women for us to take notice.

I don’t personally know these women. I don’t know their stories. I don’t know their experiences. I don’t know if I’m making assumptions.

But I feel our collective pain. Both hidden and the unhidden. I feel the intergenerational trauma. I feel my Asian sisters’ silent pain. I feel for their families and loved ones. My body and heart is pouring with grief.

I would like to acknowledge the 8 victims:

  • Soon Chung Park, 74
  • Hyun Jung Grant, 51
  • Suncha Kim, 69
  • Yong Yue, 63
  • Daoyou Feng, 44
  • Xiaojie Tan, 49, massage therapist & owner of 1 spa
  • Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, mother of a 14 year old & 8mo old
  • Paul Andre Michels, 54

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