Tuesday, June 09, 2020

REUBEN SANDWICH

I took a week off work to give myself a break. I'm not sure what I needed a break for, I wasn't physically going to work but my mind was still being overwhelmed. I thought about New York: the delis, bodegas, the museums and the parks. New York was a gorgeous city, no matter how you looked at it. I hope everyone across the US has the ability and remembers to take breaks and give themselves permission to rest. Protests are not a week-long rage, movements like in the time of Rosa Parks are long and drawn out before you achieve any real change. No one would be able to be switched on for entire weeks and months, especially if fueled by anger and disappointment. As much as what goes on in the US is unsettling, black communities have been mistreated for decades and centuries and it's high time they received justice, if not recompense. 

In the past two weeks, Lucas and I had our own squabbles. He's updated on worldly affairs, and he tends to send me news articles of injustices happening around the world. It's very tiring to me when this happens. In Singapore, I come from a community that is marginalized and has been disenfranchised, and I see it from how my cousins and brown friends are treated. I would say it takes a longer while before people treat me the same way as they treat other Malays instead of right off the bat because my name isn't a typical Malay name, in fact because of the Mei in my name people tend to treat me as either Chinese or of mixed ethnicity, neither of which I am. I don't need Lucas, a white man, to tell me what I can experience in my own lived reality. Lucas also works in Ogilvy, a very successful multinational advertising corporation, that has so far not made any financial contributions to BLM, as far as we know. In contrast, lululemon, that I work for, even with all its white-centric yogis, donated $100,000 to protestor bail funds. Sometimes I've felt like Lucas gets off on outrage porn, or some other kind of complex where he acknowledges an injustice, distances himself from the perpetrators of such injustice, but then doesn't actually do anything proactive about the situation anyway. 

2020 is the year of all kinds of reckonings.