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Rise up #StopAsianHate

Hello Beanies,

It’s not very often I write on Dramabeans…in fact, this is my very first post. I respect that Dramabeans is a community of millions and not the voice of a few. This is one of the reasons I prefer to stay in the background and read the opinions, thoughts, and the famous Dramabeans comments from millions of dedicated K-drama superfans around the world.

It’s with a solemn heart that I write my first post on Dramabeans. I had my first K-drama experience in the 1980s with veterans like Kim Soo-hyun in Love and Truth and Love and Ambition to Sand Castle starring Park Geun-hyung, Kim Hye-ja and Kim Chung. I know, I know, we’re going way back. Many of us watch our beloved Korean dramas because they’re a joyful escape from the realities and challenges of everyday life. Whether it’s the delightful, light-hearted scenes from Start-Up to the deep family subplot of Angry Mom starring the never-aging Kim Hee-sun, each of us have our own favorite drama moments that are meaningful. It may have been that dramas that helped you deal with a conflict or even helped you get through difficult times. We all have stories of how dramas have impacted our lives beyond what’s there on the screen.

Korean dramas have an extremely personal and deep significance to my life. Even as I write this post, I can feel the emotions, memories, and triggers. I know most of you can out-trivia me on dramas…and most definitely, our amazing writers can out-fact and outwit me on all the dramas. However, even though I may not be the most knowledgeable on paper, Korean dramas have been a foundational element of my current DNA and family history.

My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was a very young boy, barely able to speak in full sentences in English or Korean. My father brought my sister and I to this country with $35 to his name and we landed in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. My parents did their best to raise us, but they had to work 80-100 hour weeks with multiple jobs to achieve the American dream. I am very proud of my parents as my father ultimately achieved a doctoral degree and my mother supported him all the way through his last days, until he passed eight years ago. But because my parents were so busy, I learned most of my culture, life lessons, and values from my grandparents. I spent countless hours with them in my childhood and it’s a time that I miss greatly.

My grandparents introduced Korean dramas to me. I vividly remember my grandmother turning on Korean dramas (they were on VHS rental tapes back then) and enjoying watching her favorite actors and actresses. As soon as she turned her shows on, I would shift to boredom and disinterest because I wanted to watch sports or American TV shows. But because I knew that I had to respect my elders, I quietly groaned inside and just sat next to them. Back then, there were no smartphones or mobile video games, so I had nothing to do but sit with my grandparents and watch dramas when they turned them on. Though my first experience with dramas was not by choice, they ultimately left an indelible footprint on my life.

Recently, we have all seen the news about Asian Americans being targeted and attacked violently for no other reason than just being Asian. Age or circumstance don’t matter in these attacks. When a father and his two kids (just two and six years old) are stabbed at a Sam’s Club store for being Asian and when an Asian senior citizen is physically attacked in broad daylight for being Asian, WE HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM. These recent events leave me with a sadness for humanity and raging anger for justice. I cannot express or capture the right words to explain the cross-current of emotions. You see, I remember when our family experienced direct racism while growing up in Texas. I remember my grandfather telling me that he was pushed on his bicycle. I remember when kids would throw rocks and snicker at our family. I remember the words of a teacher telling me that my lunch smelled funny. These are the triggers and testimonies of my upbringing as an Asian and as an American.

When will this end? When will we see people for who they are on the inside and not what they look like on the outside?

Dramabeans has become far bigger than I ever imagined. As the current owner of Dramabeans, I am very proud of this diverse community of Korean drama superfans. Each of you are a reminder and inspiration for why we continue to run Dramabeans even though it makes no profit. One thing that I learned as a diversity speaker and advocate is that the best way to combat racism is to teach and educate about the beauty of one’s culture and history. We can do this through food, music, and the arts. We happen to do this through Korean dramas. When I was young, I was embarrassed of being Asian in a white majority community. I didn’t want my parents to feed me Korean food. I didn’t want to speak my own language. I didn’t want to watch Korean TV. I was young and impressionable; it felt like predatory walls of insecurities and untruths were closing in. But why did I have these insecurities around just being Asian? Why did I feel like a second-class citizen?

Our surroundings and media portrayals absolutely have a profound impact on how someone might look at themselves in the mirror. Now as I look back on my past after taking the “red pill,” I see that I did not see the truth. The truth is that my culture is beautiful, deep, engaging, and full of every color and pixel on the rainbow. The truth is that I am beautiful as an Asian American. I am thankful to my grandparents for making me watch Korean dramas with them. My passion for Dramabeans lies in the fact that non-Koreans can appreciate our culture through the storytelling of our dramas. This is why I am so proud of Dramabeans.

I want to share a quick story with you. In 2007, I tried out for an American reality TV show called The Apprentice on NBC. It was one of my favorite shows, along with Survivor, as reality competitions were just gaining steam as a genre. I actually tried out just for fun, as an experience that could be an interesting dinner party story in the future. I never thought NBC would actually call me back from the first casting interview. During my casting process for The Apprentice, I remember being among hundreds of thousands of applicants down to a few thousand and then down to a few hundred. I always questioned my odds of making the show since they had never cast an East Asian male before. But nevertheless, I gave NBC and Mark Burnett the benefit of the doubt. During this process, I had to undergo a rigorous, four-month-long screening process. I have never been through something like that in my life. It was by far the toughest interview process ever. I had to fill out so many applications, debate people all over the country, take camera screening tests, and even take timed IQ tests–it was tough.

But the moment of truth came when I made it to the final 50, and I was sitting down with Mark Burnett and the producers. It was the final stage and they were whittling down to the eighteen people who’d join the show. They asked me why I should ultimately be selected to be on the show out of the thousands of applicants. I thought for a good answer, but then I couldn’t stop what came out of my mouth next. I spoke from the heart and answered the question with a question. I asked them why they had never cast an East Asian male in the history of The Apprentice when there were so many Asian businessmen in the world. It was probably the wrong question at the wrong time, but it just came out of my mouth. There was silence in the room…you could hear a paperclip drop and even the slightest paper shuffles. One producer finally raised his hat and said something I will never, ever forget. He said, “You guys don’t make for good TV.” He continued, “People don’t want to watch Asian men on TV, maybe Asian women, but not Asian men.” As you can imagine, I was both shocked and appalled by the answer. He then told me that Asian Americans are often typecast as quiet, brainy, shy, and are not outgoing leaders. He said they had cast Asian Americans in other shows like Survivor because that show likes to have a wide variety of personalities from quiet people to Type A personalities, but The Apprentice requires dynamic and outgoing people. At that moment, I could have given up mentally, or I could have used this to fuel the chip on my shoulder. Ultimately, I chose a different path. I wanted to show the producers and America that Asian Americans could be loud, outgoing, and dynamic. This is what kept me going through nine weeks of filming with three to four hours of sleep per night. I fought and fought on this show because I had a different goal than working for Donald Trump. I could care less about working for Donald Trump as I was not even in the real estate industry. I just wanted to be on the show to make a point. I lasted 12 episodes and made it to the final two people; Donald Trump chose the other person, which did not surprise me considering what I know about him now. This was the fire that drove me to show America that not all Asians are built just to be quiet, brainy, and good only at math.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world that does not fully accept the diversity in all of us. Even today, there is evidence of obvious discrimination, lack of cultural awareness, and glass ceilings for minorities. With that being said, we must also acknowledge that we’ve made much progress over time. We must celebrate our victories along the journey. We can be proud of the progress that we have made in America’s history. In 2021, I see a lot more Asian Americans on TV and in media and it makes me very proud to see my brothers and sisters showcasing their skills. But this was not always the case in our history. There are many people who carved the path to make it possible today. Producers, talent agents, businesses, and talent who continued to fight the difficult journey. I thank every one of them.

Our families have traveled the same journey. We as immigrants have powerfully transformed and defined this nation. Our nation was shaped and changed by the blood, sweat and tears of immigrants of all races. Generations and generations of immigrants have renewed and enriched the American dream. We have shaped the tides of change and contributed to the cultural, spiritual and intellectual wealth of our nation. We, our fathers and mothers, and grandparents were the hardworking backbone of prosperity and progress.

We must not forget our history; we must not take for granted what our previous generations have done for us to have these opportunities, but at the same time, we must forge ahead into the future and not just live in the past. We must create our own history and leave future generations a legacy, our stories, our values, so that one day another generation might gain inspiration from us and continue to create a better world.

So the question lies, what legacy will we leave? Will we leave the next generation a legacy that prioritizes personal success–wealth, degrees, big homes, fancy cars? There’s nothing wrong with personal success, but personal success does not build a legacy or community.

Will we build an Asian American community that will be recognized for impact and inspiration? What will the Asian American community stand for?

I don’t know about you, but I know what I want the Asian American community to stand for. I want to see the Asian American community as a unified group that exemplifies vision, leadership, and giving back.

Too often, we are blinded by the short-term objectives and we miss the bigger picture. We need people in the Asian American community to be visionaries; with dreams, with goals, that go beyond just one’s self. A vision for the community as a whole…a vision for the future. We need people of influence. Not only positional power, but influential power. Leadership is very simple. If you look behind you, and nobody is following, that means you are not a leader. We lack mentorship and development of new leaders. Leaders are progressive thinkers, they challenge the unchallengeable, they storm through the walls of obstacles. But today, we have too many skeptics.

The reality is that people with vision and leadership stand up and also give back. It’s easy to think about just becoming a visionary or leader, but I would say it’s the actions we take that define leadership. I want to encourage each one of us to look deep inside ourselves and find the path and the passion to be a visionary, a leader, and a giver.

It’s times like this that we must look adversity in the eye and say, we will fight, we will unite, and we will win. So who is our enemy? Our enemy is not a specific individual, country, or race. Our enemy is racism and all associated intermediaries and beneficiaries of racism. We must join hands with our African American, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Latinx, and our Caucasian brothers and sisters who know that racism is wrong.

It’s time for the Asian American community to stand strong and exemplify courage, unity, and generosity. I will be writing a Part Two to this post with specific actions that I ask everyone on Dramabeans to join in with us. We will be evaluating ways to create the appropriate type of giving campaign to support the victims, their families, and organizations. Please join me in this cause.

Dramabeans has given us a platform to be a voice to support Asian content and can be used as a platform to fight racism against Asians. It’s time for us to also rise up and support the history and cultural impact.

Please comment below as a petition for your support and if you haven’t signed up yet on our site, please sign up with a profile so we have your email address. We will be emailing you on ways you can support a campaign to rise up against Asian violence.

“For those who have been given much, much will be expected.”

With respect,
James Sun

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Nothing to say, but to offer wholehearted support, and concrete actions, in whatever small way we can. Do let us know how we can help further. ❤️❤️❤️

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Thank you for your support. Appreciate it very much.

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❤️❤️❤️❤️

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I’m so glad to see this here as I haven’t known what to do with my sadness, outrage and desire to help. When I read about the women who were killed in Atlanta I was struck by one, Hyun Jung Grant, whose family noted that she loved what the paper referred to as “soap operas”. I thought, she is us. She’s been enjoying the same Korean dramas as Beanies all these years. We are her.

James, I look forward to your next essay and your educated opinion of what I can do to help.

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I understand the "cross current" of emotions we all have right now. Thanks for your support.

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I'm sorry to hear what is happening in USA. I hope your new President will be able to unify people in USA and not cleave like the last one.

I have the feeling that we are regressing in so many ways everywhere in the world, it's so frustrating.

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President's and their rhetoric have very big impact in this country amplified by media. I hope Biden/Kamala really help to address this issue as well.

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This was so heartfelt and wonderful. I think it is great that you are using your platform as both a representative of Asians Americans and a representation of Asians. Often times Asian Americans have been voiceless in fights against racism whether it is because it wasn't considered as bad or because the model minority myth was so hampering. I am black so I understand discrimination and I support my Asian American compatriots in their fight for racial equality. Speaking out is one of the first steps and action is the second. I look forward to hearing about what actions your community feels is needed and how those of us not Asian American can support.

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We are called to use our individual platforms to make a dent in this world. Thank you for acknowledging and supporting.

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It makes me livid and breaks my heart how despicable some people can be! Thank you Dramabeans for taking a stand.

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Even small things can make a big difference to one person. Thank you.

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I’ve been saddened and enraged by the hate and violence targeted at the Asian-American community. Voices like yours give me hope, and I thank you for your heartfelt essay. I look forward to your next one.

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I completely understand the emotions you have too. Let us all share our hope together.

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I'm sad to hear that by only having a different skin color, people will not respect us. This saddens me. 😢

My skin is a little bit more yellow than my white friends, but I think it looks like warm sand on the sea. My friends' skins look like snow, mine is warm sand; we can be together.

I don't know much about what's happening in the US, but I love its language (English) and English language has given me lifelong friends and families around the world.

I hope the situation in the US is better by each day. Everyone should live in peace, and we can enjoy this world together just like we do in Dramabeans.

P.S. Your first paragraph made me feel ashamed of flooding DB with my love posts for my Baby Kim Seon-ho and all so many posts and comments of mine. 🤣

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The USA is an amazing country that I am forever grateful for. The bad actors in this country are not the majority, but it's up us to make sure the narrative is shared to the public. Thank you for your support.

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Yes. I would love to support this from the sidelines. I typically never engage in political or social posts, but I did put something on my own Facebook page after the shootings in ATL, and after reading this essay by a Vietnamese-American writer. The racial wounds run deep and it’s time to take a stand.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/author-viet-thanh-nguyen-on-the-deep-well-of-anti-asian-racism-in-the-u-s?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=pbsofficial&utm_campaign=newshour&utm_content=1616162341

And what I wrote: “I feel like I need to share this and a story that happened to my son, US born to two Viet parents. I am US born, my husband’s family immigrated here when he was 5. At the beginning of the pandemic, during one of my son’s zoom classes, the zoom meeting was hacked. In it, the hacker shouted something to the effect of, “go back to China and take the virus with you!” It was stated from another student’s zoom call, but was obviously not him. It may have affected the teen that the zoom call was made from more than my son. However, it shows how systemic the issue is and how we all assume nationality of all Asians as Chinese or Japanese, or other. We are a nation of immigrants. That should tie us together.

P.S. My daughter also has had race and segregation be part of her early elementary education when she was excluded from a game for not being “American.” She was confused and asked us what she was if not American. We classify other races that aren’t “white” as Asian-American, Latin-American, Mexican-American, African-American, but don’t say Irish-American, Italian-American, English-American. This inherently shows some difference in how we approach minorities, that they aren’t really American somehow. Now the young child who said this probably didn’t know better or harbor any ill intent, but it was damaging to my daughter and she continues to be very sensitive to hearing and seeing racism on all its forms now. She will be the first to defend another child when someone says something that may be interpreted as racist. This was the second or third grade when this happened. It will never leave her.”

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Thank you for sharing your story as upsetting as it is. It's so disappointing that today's children in 2021 have to go through the digital version of being picked on in the playground for being a different race. We need to change this so the younger generation can stand up with pride and strength.

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Seattle held a vigil this morning in our Chinatown/International District. thank you for posting and let us know what we can do to help.

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I'm saddened that this is the reason you finally made your first post, but it's a powerful one. Racism, including anti-Asian racism, has been part of the structures in the US since westerners came ashore here. The former president lit a fuse on what has been a constant smolder, and the recent murders and assaults are, sadly, not shocking. Any time, I hear or read the phrase, "This is not America," I shake my head because it is America, and until we own up to that, it's going to be very difficult to change.

Anyway, I've been talking to family and friends, posting on social media, correcting misguided ideas, sharing articles, and donating and donating and donating to organizations and the gofundme pages of the victims. I hate that my family, friends and neighbors are afraid when they trying to just live their lives. I hate it and I hope we can change it.

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I had no idea about this situation in the US. It's a long time since I don't watch the news (I decided not to after my mum died ten years ago), because I believe the important things always find a way to be known. And this is important so I'm so glad you shared it with us, James.
My corner of the world is not blessed with many Asian people living on it. Even so, I remember Mr. Oh, my Taekwondo instructor ages ago. He and his family were the first Korean who decided to live in my hometown in the 1980's. First time I learned about the country, along with watching MASH episodes.

I never understood why people would judge others by the way the look, the country they came from, the language they speak or how tall they were. Is it a privilege because I'm Caucasian? Maybe, but I've also learned that the clothes do not make the man, and the important thing is what a person has inside, no mater the color of their skin, the shape of their eyes, their gender, how tall they are or if they have a degree or not.

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"I never understood why people would judge others by the way the look, the country they came from, the language they speak or how tall they were. Is it a privilege because I'm Caucasian?"

Trust me, this judgment and behavior can happen to anyone and be perpetuated by anyone. No one group has a monopoly on this.

I had a Jamaican friend whose mother originally wanted her to have nothing to do with my family and I because she assumed we--being Sicilian--were involved in organized crime. When my mom came to this country, she was harassed repeatedly by an Irish-American worker because she was listening to Italian music. People used to call my dad a Guinea. Racial intolerance and hatred is not limited to one group (even if the media is spinning this particular issue one way.).

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I meant, "Racial/ethnic/religious/etc. intolerance and hatred is not limited to one group...."

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I know what you mean. I am form Spain so I am Spanish. When I first went to the US and said I was Spanish, I always was asked what country... just imagine my face saying... uh... Spain? And then a whole new actitudes because I was from Europe.

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I'm also Spanish and that happened to me last year as well, I was shocked 😂. Next time I'll ask them to guess. To be fair, the words "Spanish" and "hispanic" are very similar, my pronunciation is not the best and they are probably much more used to hearing the word "hispanic".

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It's almost like a colloquialism for some people to call everyone who speaks Spanish, Spanish. But a lot of people will also say Latino/a, or Hispanic.

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Thank you for your post. Like many others, I am appalled and disappointed by this renewal of racism in the US. I'm with you

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Hey James. Thanks for keeping Dramabeans alive and making it one of the most safest place on the internet for me.
I'm neither Asian nor American but I definitely feel for your community. I've known that fear for loved ones when there are hate crimes against my religious community. And I have realized one thing for sure. Support from your own community is hugeand very important because everyone knows the fear and empathizes on the same level but support from someone outside the community makes a difference too. You feel seen and heard by the world and the struggle becomes less lonely. You know that you are being looked as an equal human united against injustice and suffering. I hope I'll be able to help in any way possible.

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It can be discouraging to see hatred expressed in violent ways, and to realize that some of the roots of the American experience - of genocide, of slavery, of unequal treatment of the different - are still manifesting themselves today. I cannot say "this is not America" - it is. But I can say "This is not ALL of America." Greater inclusiveness and recognition of the worth of every person - without regard to national origin, religion, race, gender identity - is also part of the American tradition and the spirit of America today.

Neither my wife and I are Korean, but we are avid watchers of K-drama. I am a Caucasian, with an immigrant father and a mother whose family has been here for generations. My late father, who learned the American Pledge of Allegiance as an adult, told me that when he repeated "with liberty and justice for all" he would add mentally "but not yet."

My wife is an immigrant from Peru. Here's a true story - we live in Maryland in the greater Washington DC area. We went to a Chinese restaurant with an Asian couple my wife knew from work. The place settings on the table were fork, knife, spoon - one of the couple we were with asked for chopsticks. Three sets were brought - including for my wife, who has mestizo ancestry - I was the one left out. Actually, I know how to use chopsticks too - so there was a little bit of stereotyping by the restaurant staff - my wife looked like she could be Asian - I didn't. We just laughed about it. I could have gotten the chopsticks too if I had asked, but I didn't want to embarrass the waitress.

This is a great country, and it has its flaws and weaknesses. But there was a great line from George W. Bush's first Inaugural Address - "Each new immigrant makes us more American, not less."
That is true, and as time goes by more and more people will understand that. God bless America - and everybody else.

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Wonderful post, thanks :)

True racism DOES still exist in America. There are people who make bad decisions and judge people unfairly based on the color of their skin. This can run from as small as believing someone can't find their way to the DMV or get a state ID online if they're not white, or as large as the recent VIOLENT attacks against Asian Americans. Racism is bad, and shouldn't be tolerated.

I tend to run very wary of racism awareness campaigns as a general rule, because I do think they can go too far (for instance, there IS a real Black Vernacular English dialect, and I don't think it's wrong to imitate that for context, and there are some things that simply are statistically more common in a culture/stereotyped that I think we need to make our own personal peace with, like Asian tiger moms and American gun-roaring habits). However, true racism--belittling, campus segregation based on race, violence against members of another race, disqualification for something based on race... those ought to be properly condemned. Thanks for doing so :)

As a side note, I hope we can also take this as a lesson of what happens when we take things too seriously--yes, Corona is a virus. It's not fun, and people have died. But we can't let that escalate the nature of our actions against our fellow men. It definitely doesn't condone attacking people for the color of their skin. It also shouldn't condone tazing someone, jailing them, or firing them from their job for not wearing a mask. Let's stay humane in the way we treat people, please! Or shooting someone asking you to wear a mask. Just... let's please all be kind :)

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I feel your pain and outrage and you have my utmost support for whatever is needed.

I'm also happy to see positive responses. A while back, I came across a recap of a controversial drama where a commenter urged DB to speak out on racism, police brutality and racially-motivated murders of black people in the US and to support BLM. It was heartbreaking to read some commenters basically saying they didn't care and that that wasn't what DB was for and also not what they come to DB for. Unless the search function is wonky, I never found a post afterwards rising up for black people and how we get killed everyday just for existing. But I digress.

Like you wrote:

Our enemy is racism and all associated intermediaries and beneficiaries of racism. We must join hands with our African American, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Latinx, and our Caucasian brothers and sisters who know that racism is wrong.

Again, you have my full support. #StopAsianHate

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I used to have a room mate who was African American. She said something to me one day, when she was mad at me about something, that I never forgot. She said, "People don't like people who are different from them." Coming from a black woman, I thought of all people she should have known better, and yet that statement summed up who she was. She would get angry and hateful when we had differences in tastes and opinions.

I see this attitude across the board, from whites, blacks and Asians alike. Growing up in Japan, I listened to my American father constantly talking about how America was always better at everything than Japan. Now that we live in the US, I have to listen to my Japanese/Korean mother go on about how Japanese culture is so much better. There are Americans (and Koreans) who still spout hate against the Japanese for what their ancestors did in WWII. And then there was my American Korean friend who had white friends staying with her overnight and the Korean community was enraged. "How could you let those dirty Americans into your house?"

It's easy to virtue signal and decry racism in others; harder to acknowledge that it is only a symptom of a universal human problem. It's about intolerance of those that are different from YOU--culturally, ideologically, politically, as well as racially. To make it only about skin color, and only directed against minorities, minimizes and cheapens the issue.

"If we ban hate crime and force everybody else to think the way we do, then the world will be just fine!" Well, that never works. You can't change other people and you can't fight intolerance with intolerance. We can only fix the issues we find within ourselves. And if we all did that, maybe, just maybe, we'd have a chance.

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Well said !
Thank you for putting into words what I couldn't express.

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Agree that racism is part of a wider problem, but disagree with some other points:

1. Antipathy resulting from historical crimes or atrocities does not necessarily constitute intolerance of difference.

2. I don't think anyone is "making it only about skin colour and only directed against minorities". It's strange that no one interpreted statements like "Dogs are incredible" as "Only dogs are incredible" earlier, but now so many people seem to feel the need to counter "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter" even though no one - and I mean no one - is saying only Black lives matter.

3. Although it isn't just minorities that are discriminated against, the fact is that any minority group in any society is far more likely to be on the receiving end of intolerance and prejudice than the majority groups, and usually because of existing structural inequalities. Surely it isn't "fighting intolerance with intolerance" to protect such vulnerable groups and to correct such systemic flaws. Moreover, I don't think any law against hate crimes would exempt any group, minority or majority, as long as there is evidence that the crime is, say, racially motivated.

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"You can't change other people and you can't fight intolerance with intolerance. We can only fix the issues we find within ourselves. And if we all did that, maybe, just maybe, we'd have a chance."
Well said!

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I agree to your point that hate is a human failing that, ironically, does not see race, religion, creed, identity, or any other difference. We all of us share in the burden of hate. But, I think this can be an opportunity if we take it. We can build bridges, we can help heal rifts. We can be better. Starting with ourself and reaching out in our sphere of influence.

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Support this wholeheartedly. Look forward to your next post with Part Two on concrete actions we can take.

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Am with you all the way! Thoughts brilliantly shared.

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I am an American. I am opposed to racial discrimination. I am opposed to hate. I was opposed to hate laws when they started being introduced in America, because to me it doesn't matter why someone acts in an evil manner--it's the evil action that matters. Unfortunately we cannot wish away or legislate the bad hearts of men, but we can take responsibility for ourselves and those we love.

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Never could understand why racism still exists in the world. Much needed systemic change has to come through changes in all spheres of society. Humans by nature fear that they have no knowledge of. There needs to be changes to school curriculum, ad campaigns, representations in every walk of life - diversity and acceptance. Although some of these have been happening in the very recent past, the speed isn’t high enough.

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I am proud to be part of Dramabeans. This community has always been a safe place for me. Here, we talk about things we love and show support for each other, albeit virtually.

Thank you for speaking up, Sun Sah Jang-nim.

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Thank you James Sun for supporting us via Dramabeans so that we can share our love of Asian dramas. Thank you as well for posting your family's story and your personal history of discrimination. Hatred is the same the world over but that doesn't make it any less painful.
This site has always been a platform for respectful discussion and constructive critique, so my hope is that we can become a force for non-violent action to stop Asian hate. As hard as they are to hear, Thich Nhat Hanh's words ring true, "Hatred, violence and anger can only be neutralized and healed by one substance and that is compassion - there is no other medicine."
Looking forward to uniting with Beanies from around the world to do whatever we can.

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I don't believe in dgeneralizing any race, creed, culture as this is a BIG world with so much to learn from one another. That's what the world should be.

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Count me in. As a Korean-American born in the States in 1961, sounds like we may have had similar experiences. I remember growing up as the only Asian face in my entire school and neighborhood and trying my best to fit in. Lost the Korean in Korean-American except in appearance but glad websites like this and others allow me to reconnect. Wrong is just wrong regardless of who its pointed at but this wave strikes home for obvious reasons. Don't know if I'm ready to fight hate with love, but at least I can start with understanding.

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Praying for peace in this nation which has so benefitted from its many immigrant groups.

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Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories and your calls to action. Here's hoping that, with intention and thoughtfulness, we can make the world suck a little less for people of all races.

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I'm Asian (Chinese-Filipino) Canadian, and the same problem is on the rise here. I live in the Metro Vancouver area and stories of elderly people being attacked is on the rise here as well. I read stories like these with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, a rising feeling of despair, and yes, fear as well - for visible minorities everywhere. I want to do something other than read about these. How can I help?

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Hello, fellow Canadian Beanie here— I live in Edmonton, AB. I really hope that the noise and awareness that the U.S. has been receiving for the fight against Asian American hate can also be felt and addressed here in Canada as well, as hate crimes have also been on the rise in our country, but it seems to have been overshadowed by what’s happening in the U.S.

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I am a south Asian (Bangladeshi to be more specific) Canadian here - Calgary, Alberta! I have been dealing with other racism in Canada for as long as I can remember. I am Muslim and it is not being a woman of color, visibly Muslim in Canada. It’s a lot here than in the US but racism and hate crimes have been on the fast rise here as well. Only this week this headscarf wearing 16 year girl got beaten up at the park, in broad daylight for no reason except for being visibly Muslim. I personally got vilified time and again at one of the big four firms where I worked. Received so much hate and got targeted for being a woman of color in this place every single day. It drove me to the emergency twice on a span of four months. I do not work on that place anymore and they never changed. Love and acceptance, when will it come for all?

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I am Chinese Canadian :)
It's never going to ever fully happen, but what we CAN do is fulfill our own part and be kind to one another. There have been cases at the beginning of the pandemic where I could foresee someone thinking about coming up to me and trying to do something to me or people faking the need for help on something and so they come up to me on the bus or a bus stop to ask me something but really they just want to pick on me, but I kindly responded to them and didn't give them an opening to do anything else to me.

That was at the beginning of the pandemic.

Nowadays, I can't be sure, but I continue to try to be kind to the people I meet and see on the street and not jump to conclusions. At the same time, hearing on the news and seeing for myself that my city has found the need to triple security at major transit and metro train stations--for fear of racist and other motivated attacks-- because many of the racially motivated crimes (hate crimes) that have happened (and that continue to increase in numbers) have taken place at said transit and train stations isn't all that comforting, either, as I take public transit and don't drive

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bebeswtz, I take public transit too, though not so much since the pandemic since I have the option to work from home. I hope it gets better soon, for all of us!

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I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you, and I'm glad you're no longer working at that place.

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Yes! Please count me as a supporter.

I am so disgusted, embarrassed and scared by the attacks towards the Asian community. I have been feeling helpless and frustrated not knowing how I can help.

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Thank you for sharing your story and for your thoughts on this tenuous stage of American and, really, global history. I’ve been reading Dramabeans for over ten years and I’m glad to see that this movement isn’t going unnoticed by you and your team. Fighting!

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I don't know much about what's happening in the US, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. Racism IS bad and we must speak up. We might have different skin colours, but the blood that flaws through our veins is the same colour. That factor is enough for people to understand that no matter where you come from, what language you speak, everybody has the same rights. After all, before we got divided as Asians, Europeans, Africans, Americans, we are Humans and we must protect our humanity at all costs. I'm here to support in any way I can and keep informing us about this situation. It's sad that this has to be your first post here, but thank you Mr. James Sun for bringing up this topic here. Never lose hope for I believe that humanity still exists. Keep fighting!

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Utterly speechless to see the violence acts in USA. It's sad to see how a person's life seems to be meaningless to those who hates the Asian community.
Having experience being called "stupid chinese asian" and being ridiculed for being chinese myself (I lived in Australia for 6 yrs), all these incidents are truly heartbreaking.
I have a brother and a pregnant sister-in-law living in San Fransisco, and am very worried about their safety there, always checking on them every now and then.

Many thanks to you for sharing and dramabeans teams for the support to the asian community. You have my full support on this.

I hope and wish for things will better in USA soon and hope the new president will take this unfortunate event as a serious issue and act on it.

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James, thank you for this heartfelt message and for the opportunity for this wonderful Dramabeans community to positively participate in effecting positive change and to bend that arc fast and more firmly towards justice. If we all do a little, we can accomplish so much. I will do my part.

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Thank you for sharing this.

It was so heartbreaking to hear about the shooting and the other acts of violence against Asian Americans. I can't believe how so many people refuse to call it what it is - a hate crime and an act of terrorism by white supremacists.

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I am so grateful for dramabeans. I have only recently started to watch Korean dramas and it is a real eye opener to learn how different the values in Korea are from my own European culture. I rely completely on the subtitles and find the recaps here essential for a better understanding. Engagement with a different way of thinking and keeping an open mind is the best cure against racism of any kind. Please keep going.

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In the k-dramas I enjoy both the differences from my own Anglo-American culture, and also the commonalities of love, hate, desire, loss - "we are all more simply human than otherwise." My wife is a Peruvian, and we find the recaps and analyses here at Dramabeans very helpful in understanding what's happening with the characters and situations in these shows.

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Thank you for your brave words and sharing your experience. Looking forward to coming together for good.

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i will stand with my asian brothers & sisters, not only in your times of sorrow but to build a better community for the here & now & the future. my deepest condolences.

as an african-american, i understand that internal racism plays out in a # of ways & we need to be open about this as well. i look forward to open dialogue that that is about accepting all our diversities. thank you for your heartfelt & thoughtful insight. a luta continua.

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Well said and I support you! I understand being a minority myself. It’s unfortunate when things like this happen and continue to happen. I’m a mother of three males and my conversation of how to act and what to expect is a different conversation than their Caucasian friends. It’s a painful part of my life that I wish wasn’t a necessity but unfortunately is.

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I very much agree with you on this one. A couple of thoughts. I’ve noticed in our elections how targeted for messaging people are by their race. And age and sex. They (politicians, campaigners, media and election analyst types) want the African American vote. The Asian American vote. The Muslim American vote, the white women votes, the elderly vote, and so forth. So I think how they target voters by demographic creates wedges amongst us as a whole. They want to know precisely want a particular demographic needs or wants or thinks they need and then targets their ads, social media and on the ground campaigns to exploit those voters instead of stepping back and thinking about what ALL Americans need. (Like jobs, decent housing, clean environment, education and safe neighborhoods.). They pit old against young as well. Another thing I’ve noticed, especially from watching Asian dramas, is how classism and wealth dominate decision making. Especially in school and jobs. Where diversity isn’t obvious, it’s delineated by skin shade between milky white and tan.

So, while I think racial discrimination is irrational, I see where our culture, our govt and politics use our racial diversity to pigeon hole us into adversarial groupings for votes. And that’s where the nut job low life criminals and bigots with criminal intent worm their way between and hurt people. Like the punks who sucker punch old ladies walking down the street carrying groceries like the Asian lady in SF. Or like my aunt in NYC who was white first generation immigrant from Ireland. Why did she get sucker punched? Because she was white or because she was old and couldn't run away fast enough? I dunno. Tis the way of low life twisted punks.

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James, thank you for not putting the blame and the responsibility for racism on white people, and for emphasizing instead that all of us have to work together to improve society.
For a while now I've been noticing with fear how the "movement against racism" and the feminist movement both follow a similar path of blaming "the enemy" (white people on the one hand, and men on the other) and I don't see it ending well. The only thing that can be achieved that way (IMO) is that some white people will feel threatened and become more racist (and vote for parties that support racist ideas), people of colour will think it's okey if they are racist against white people because "that kind of racism is not possible", and white people who are not racist will feel they have no right to speak up, or that if they do speak about their points of view people might attack them. And I can see similar things happening with sexism, men and feminism.

I think that nowadays "the whole world" (obviously there are exceptions) is listening to Asian people, black people, women, etc., and that it's time to stop fighting against each other and adopt a more friendly strategy like: "we are in this together to improve our society for everybody's own good, we don't want to put any group down, but to raise the other groups who were mistreated somehow so that we can all live happy and in harmony". Obviously a perfect world is not possible, but at least we should try.

So that's why I'm so glad for James' comment, thank you SO much for your "healthy" approach.

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Btw, I would like to remind everybody that xenophobia also exists. Unfortunately Asian can hate other Asians, white people can hate other white people and so on. And then there is the fear against immigrants. I think only through education will be possible to eradicate the ignorance that perpetuates these ideas.

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It hurts my heart with all this hatred toward the Asian community. I am so glad this was posted on here. I back this up 100%. This has got to stop and I want to do my part in helping the cause.

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It is really nice of you to speak up back then and now

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It's heartbreaking and frustrating to see just how cruel people can be to others who are not like them. Nobody deserves to live in that kind of terror every day. I'm sorry that this situation is what prompted your first post here — thank you for sharing your story and for taking a stand.

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I've got your back!
Thanks for sharing ❤️☮️.

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I'm sorry about this and I'm sorry about what you had to experience while growing up.
Hugs and hwaiting.
And I'd like you to expand the notion to Rise up #Stop"being different"Hate since racisms don't discriminate with its hate.
I'm sorry I'm not articulate enough since English isn't my native tongue, I just hope I conveyed what I wanted to say 😅

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Thanks for this eloquent and warm article! Very important and necessary to write esp. at a horrific and traumatizing time for AAPI folks. I loved your talk about how you were informed of K-dramas, and how you grew to appreciate them and Korea as a result. There's so much to do, and dismantle. Its not an easy task, nor something that'll be easy to undo many people's prejudices and biases. I want to stay optimistic, but its hard reading/hearing the news on AAPI attacks lately, and not feel disheartened about them. We ought to be better, compassionate, and willing to listen and learn.

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I am a black women in American. I have had to deal with discrimination my hole life. And I have been praying for my son and grandsons there hole life. So I am against bigotry of any kind. So I am with the Asian community in anyway I can help. You all are not alone.

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Unbelievable. I am very sad about these racist attacks. I am aware of how much we owe to the peoples of Asia. Since always. As a Caucasian, I am an admirer of Asian culture, it deserves it.
So, I intend to help in whatever way I can.

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As a member of a mixed race family- with five very bright nephews who most definitely do not look 'white', I view racism very dimly indeed. But as an older man I can also report that gigantic progress has been made, and none more than with Asians.

Do not get me wrong- Asians suffered terribly in this country and it saddens me that Mr. Sun was subjected to such behavior. And there are still a few sick individuals who who will use race as an excuse for the inexcusable. But I have seen a vast diminution of this in this course of my life.

We have gone a long ways since the awful days of a century ago when the worst lynch mobs in history killed many Chinese. We rightly view with utter disgust the internment of Japanese people by President Roosevelt during the Second World War. Such things are inconceivable now. We have in fact made huge progress.

But we still have a ways to go and this is where I want to offer a couple of suggestions.

First, education- not the obnoxious hectoring by folks trying to convince people that they are total bigots- but real education about where the whole 'race theory' came from and why it was an unscientific lie: Historically it is a very recent phenomenon. It would have greatly astonished William Shakespeare that a 'Blackamoor' (someone from West Africa- and of the Muslim faith) was of the same race as an Abyssinian (a Christian from Ethiopia), just as it would have amazed him to be told that a Scot was of the same race as an Englishman. 'Race' is an old word whose meaning was changed in the 1700s- it used to simply mean ethnicity. 'Race theory' was a ridiculous attempt to subdivide humanity based upon the most superficial characteristics possible - like skin color- and even that is inconsistent as there are some Japanese people whose skins are actually whiter than any European South of Sweden. Or put it another way: Thoroughbred racehorses are so interbred as to almost be clones, and yet they come in three colors. The scientific fact is that humanity is less genetically diverse than any other mammal except the Cheetah- we really all are brothers and sisters biologically. I believe that simply teaching this one simple truth to everyone is in the long run the only real answer. We do not have to call for races to be unified- we simply need to recognize that 'race' is and always was imaginary- it does not really exist and was a purely artificial construct to begin with..

Second- follow my family's example. Encourage intermarriage. If you have a family member or friend who is contemplating such a marriage to someone who is otherwise compatible then please do not discourage them- don't be one of those people warning about how tough it might be. Nothing destroys racism like intermarriage.

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you are all welcome to move to Estonia. My friends from Belgium said there are not enough Asians to their liking ( they want us to be as multi-culti as Brussels we are wayyyy behind).
Also I will protect you all with my Gumiho friend and my army of zombies.

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