What Are Friends For

Stop Asian Hate - Friends are Active, Informed Bystanders

March 23, 2021 Gabrielle Ruiz & Pallavi Sastry Season 3 Episode 9
What Are Friends For
Stop Asian Hate - Friends are Active, Informed Bystanders
Chapters
What Are Friends For
Stop Asian Hate - Friends are Active, Informed Bystanders
Mar 23, 2021 Season 3 Episode 9
Gabrielle Ruiz & Pallavi Sastry

Pallavi and Gabrielle address and condemn the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and how they can be better allies and bystanders to their friends in the Asian American community. It is time to take action and do the work to be an effective active bystander.

Check out https://www.ihollaback.org/ to learn more about bystander intervention and sign up for free trainings as they become available.

Follow us everywhere @waffpodcast

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/waffpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Pallavi and Gabrielle address and condemn the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and how they can be better allies and bystanders to their friends in the Asian American community. It is time to take action and do the work to be an effective active bystander.

Check out https://www.ihollaback.org/ to learn more about bystander intervention and sign up for free trainings as they become available.

Follow us everywhere @waffpodcast

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/waffpodcast)

Pallavi Sastry:

No really what our friends for. It is March 18 2021. And we are recording a special episode today. I am Pallavi Sastry,

Gabrielle Ruiz:

and I'm Pallavi's best friend Gabrielle Ruiz. It is been time. It is time again, it is now time to stop Asian hate. And we started our relationship of what our friends for in the tipping point of Black Lives Matter last summer in 2020. And we were debuting the season and we were just like, yes, we continue to have conversations that are hard. And I remember saying we have so much work to do, we have so much ahead of us when it comes to Black Lives Matter, especially for conversations within our friendship, that when come this march of 2021, where there's a lot of hope, because we hit the one year anniversary of, of our isolation, reality, and hopefully a resolution and an ending point now with vaccinations happening and there still is hate going around the world.

Pallavi Sastry:

And we have heard the parallel of racism being just as deadly of a virus. And stop Asian hate Yes, but also, let's call what happened in Atlanta, and the 3800 reported hate crimes in the last one year against Asian Americans, let's call it what it is. That is domestic terrorism. And especially in Atlanta, that's that's very specifically domestic domestic terrorism, which is, by definition, a string of attacks in multiple locations. Wasn't once it wasn't a fluke. So I think that's where all of the anger and rage comes from, which is completely justified. And it's yet another time to amplify the voices that are hurting from this.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

As well as giving them time and space to hurt, to feel to heal. And it's it's a, it's yet again, another opportunity to as friends, as by standers as supporters, to figure out what to do, and how to do it not just right, but how to do it with a, how to support specifically and how to help with changing this narrative that is so incorrect. without feeling performative without feeling guilty without feeling it's all about you without making it about you, you know, and the fact that there's other minorities saying, through social media, like, just insert the minority and it's like, it's their month to be hated, and it's in their mind to have this crime acted upon them. And it's just like, yes, and everyone deserves some space and the floor, but at the same time, everyone else who is not being specifically discriminated against, also needs to do something about that. And we need to support from right and left, not just from front and back.

Pallavi Sastry:

We wanted to amplify the voices of our friends in our inner circle, our Asian friends in our inner circle without having to ask them to do extra work. And, you know, without asking them what to do, you know, I think we have the tools necessary in order for us to take action and one of those things is to simplify their voices and how they're feeling and smelling because the fear is really real. Our consulting producer and a very dear friend of mine, Kathleen Choe. You know, she's, she's definitely been very vocal about how this is completely hitting home for her. Her two parents are elderly. And it could, it could easily be one of her parents who gets attacked on the street. And we're not talking about police violence here. We're talking about peo- like civilians, hurting other Americans. And that's what makes it like, even more painful.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

Right.

Pallavi Sastry:

And her post, she wrote in the caption, I'm angry and sad and screaming inside This morning and can't stop thinking that those women were probably around the age of my mother, my aunts, cousins, and friends, begging and pleading, make it stop. And her picture that she posted was Nick Choe. Asking the media specifically CNN and and MSNBC, it says, eventually you're going to read the names of the eight banked up. Eventually, you're going to read the names of the eight victims in Georgia, take an extra few minutes and put in the little bit of effort that it takes to make sure you pronounce their names correctly. It's not that hard, which makes it hurt so much more when you don't, please. And I mean, I have a lot of feelings about that. But we can I'd like to come back to that I think there's there's other ways that we can amplify Asian voices and see see Asian Americans as Americans, that's like always been the thing that I I come back to is like, you know, I'm, I'm, clearly I'm South Asian. So it's, it's a different part of the continent, but we are put into the same category at times. And, you know, for for us, what we always say is like, you know, we're putting the model minority myth because we're perpetually made the foreigner. And so people tend to ask us where we're from, before they even ask us what our name is. And then when we say what our name is, it's too complicated for people to care. In how to dress properly,

Gabrielle Ruiz:

therefore, you're not equal.

Pallavi Sastry:

Right? Just like on a baseline, conversational level, right?

Gabrielle Ruiz:

This is not a job interview, this is not, this is not signing a mortgage. This is not big life altering topics, or trying to qualify for something this is just every day for you.

Pallavi Sastry:

And I think it's such a, it's a minimal thing that we can, we can respect and give people like this least these names, and particularly these eight names, because they are no longer with us, that the least we can do. To respect their humanity is to say their names properly.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

And learn. do better.

Pallavi Sastry:

You know, we talk a lot about how there's so much progress and forward movement and how we're all trying to come together. And especially in our industry, you know, I think, you know, as much progress as there is, I think sometimes our patting ourselves on the back can be a little premature. And so this type of thing really, like brings us back down to reality. Yeah, how much more work there is, even though we can still celebrate all the progress happening, right? Yeah. Like, for example, again, just coming back to the whole seeing Asian Americans as Americans, it's like, you know, menari is a film that I highly recommend everybody seen, like, literally any any person could put themselves in that family's shoes. And the person because it's, it is about an American family. Yes. They happen to be Korean. Yes. They happen to speak to each other in Korean. And but they're, but they're farmers, like they're they're building a farm in Arkansas. That's what the movies about.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

Yeah. And it's like, it's American. It's an American story.

Pallavi Sastry:

Right. And the Golden Globes put that film in the foreign language category, because apparently, it's because 80% of the movie is spoken Korean. Even though the filmmakers American, the actor that you know, Steven Yun bleed actor is American, it was made in America funded by an American company and then released by an American company

Gabrielle Ruiz:

and then put in the foreign category.

Pallavi Sastry:

That's right.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

Man, that's a lot of work to do. And it's a group of people that make this a decision. That's the other thing too. It's not just one person that is a complete idiot. Or is like dug under it was like hiding underneath a rock. It's it's a group of people where no one either realized, recognized or spoke up.

Pallavi Sastry:

Well, yeah, yeah. And also, it's just like letting things go unchecked. That group of people, there's multiple people that made that decision that nobody checked anyone.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

right and if they thought it they didn't speak up

Pallavi Sastry:

right and that exact and on a different level going back to the violence is exactly what happened when our previous president started saying the china virus and the kung fu that nobody no one checked him any kept doing it and it spread

Gabrielle Ruiz:

it's not a joke it's not a joke and it's not funny and here we are a year later with the with the poison that was spread and it grew like a weed and i still stand by what we posted even on our WAFFpodcast instagram that that we will not stand by as silent bystanders while the asian community is being attacked we won't we won't not here at WAFF not here as friends not here to you not and we will be there for you and i do admit again that the conversation of how do you support your friends that are of the asian community that is right and appropriate correct without being performative without being exhausted without being numbed because it's a slippery slope even when we were texting this morning we already had two episodes slated for today for us to record and i brought this up i said if we did it for blm and that did it see again like how it how you word it if we want it to use our platform to not be silent bystandars if we wanted to use our what our friends for a platform to amplify these voices should we bring on guestfriends of asian descent should we should we ask them to quote should we get them to leave us a voice message and you were just like hey we didn't ask that of our black community friends to do that so we shouldn't do that for them as well because they all are dealing with it very differently and we should just ask them how and i'm so glad kat asked us to use her instagram instagram post because that is how she's communicating and how she's dealing and also taking a break at the same time probably disconnecting from the news i don't know what she's specifically doing but it was another checkpoint again and i don't think it was coming from a performative or anything but it just like trying to figure out trying to figure out how to do it and and and i think a lot of a lot of a lot of the other communities that want to help get like like it's kind of like shiny new object syndrome you know what i mean like you see this new thing that you have to just 555554 and then you will exhaust yourself because we are a year past the blm tipping point almost because it was the summer of last year but like with the pandemic and with all these life altering moments for the entire planet we're having time to think still we're still having time to think check ourselves and change

Pallavi Sastry:

yeah so i think i think i'm using the social media and our instafriends or reality like the reality right now is that you know we can find the answers and find the find the tools we need and you know whether whether we realize it or not social media is is work that the asian american community our asian american friends are doing so if we look at you know Lilan who's a guest on our show this season you know if you look at her march 4 post or if we go if we go to you know people we admire like jon chu he listed gofundme.com/api as a place we can donate i work with asian americans advancing justice every so often which is doing amazing work on the ground and you know daniel dae kim posted about addressing congress today to lobby for legislation that condemns violence against asian americans and let me let me just clarify like when you lobby for legislation to condemn asians to condemn violence it just means you want it in writing that it's not okay to do this like it's not you don't i mean like

Gabrielle Ruiz:

it's not like action points

Pallavi Sastry:

yeah i wanted in writing that this is not okay

Gabrielle Ruiz:

like let's just agree that we're saying the same thing versus twisting it

Pallavi Sastry:

to right

Gabrielle Ruiz:

to compromise another community

Pallavi Sastry:

right And what can we do, we can donate like we said. And we can also go to places like ihollaback.org, which has a free bystander intervention training, it takes an hour. And it teaches you better tools or equips you with, with tips and ways that you can recognize and see and act on any sort of incident that you might see on the street, if you if you witness any sort of violence, or hate crime or anything like that you can get involved safely, which is strength in numbers, that safety in numbers. So that's something we can actively do.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

That is our lightning WAFF of the of the of this special episode. I mean, we didn't want to do any of the how the flare and any of the of the, you know, the joking because this is not a joking conversation. But this is also a friendship conversation that we should be having with our friends to, to listen, as well as activate. How, as well as activate ways to support instead of feeling lost on how to support and then making it and then putting that on social media, that's just not helpful. That's it's not like, What do I do? How do I do this? This is unfair. That's just how I feel as a friend. For me, it's like, if I just put out that if I if I just put out I feeling terrible that this is happening and then feeling. Feeling doomed. You don't I mean, like for that that to me, for me does not give me any sort of action points to be productive in changing it. And for some people it does, like this needs to stop that narrative or that caught that sentence can initiate action, I get that. But for me, it just doesn't work for me. And it's like, yeah, listening to these instead of just like reposting or instead of just liking you actually go to ihollaback.org and sign up, like, sign up and just take an hour out of your time to help make a change. That's how you can by actually reading what's going on what your friends are saying and what your friends are requesting versus calling and meeting a different version to feel like it helps you that necessarily help them but you listen to what they need you listen to what they are suggesting. And that to me is how Instafriends or reality works.

Pallavi Sastry:

And, you know, it's it's the the constant question that I think will always keep us checking ourselves is like, how did we get here? Right? It's like if we keep asking ourselves, how did we get here? And then we go and find the answer to that question. Like, usually we can find the action items there as well. Yeah, like, you know, because this is not new. This is not a new. If a crisis happens in America, we know, historically, that there is an immediate obsession with figuring out who to blame. What do we blame? What where's the foreign entity or outsider or someone we can point a finger at to say this is your fault. And then America vilifies that race or group, very progressive, like very quickly after that. And that becomes one of the deepest roots of the problem. Because we say that it's an isolated thing. It's Oh, it's because of the that's just where the virus is from it. You know, if that that's that's not really what this is. It's like you're you're stoking something that already has roots. And now it's just growing faster, because you weren't able to like find a thing to throw on to this whole population of people.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

Ugh and my condolences to those families.

Pallavi Sastry:

Yes.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

It's just awful. It's just absolutely awful. It's in I'm not saying like, I don't ever think about how terrible it is like I do. And it's, it's something that I can't fathom, and I and I'm hoping and praying for those families and those friends, and also I will be taking action. I mean, I'm looking forward to sign up for the free bystander intervention training that our guest friend Javier Munoz posted, and it's going it's literally all over. If you go look for it, you'll see it and I highly suggest that if you feel like you, quote, can't do anything or don't know what to do, that's something that is something

Pallavi Sastry:

and there are all kinds of petitions that we can sign. Especially, you know, I'm sure with the lobbying that's happening for this legislate legislation that I mentioned, you know, just keep an eye out, keep an eye out and take care. each other.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

We support you. It's exhausting. And one day every day we just hold each other accountable as friends as a community to support each other and stay safe you guys, if you can, and support each other and protect as bystanders protect one another, stand up for each other. That's what friends are for.

Pallavi Sastry:

All right. We will talk to you soon.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

Thanks for listening guys. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being a part of this conversation. And we will see you next week or at another time on What are friends for.

Pallavi Sastry:

Bye bye 1234 This episode was produced by Team access productions and Fast Nickel Inc. Our supervising producer is Philip Pisanchyn.

Unknown:

Our consulting producers are Kathleen Choe and Rose Harwood. Lead

Pallavi Sastry:

production assistant is Anna Dannaker digital content director is Susi Cabello. Our production assistants are Daniela Heredia Vega, Solaire Olsen and Megann Billedo.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

Our podcast artwork is created by Aishwarya Sukesh original music by Joie Sherman and special thanks to irresistible force publicity and Hari Savitala

Pallavi Sastry:

please remember to subscribe rate and review this podcast wherever you're listening. Now, this helps our show's visibility and helps us keep making it for you.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

And find us on all the socials Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and tick tock at waffpodcast. That's W A F F podcast to find links to our exclusive podcasts, live shows shop merch, even text us visit WAFFpodcast.com.

Pallavi Sastry:

We truly appreciate you all checking in with us online. We know that friend that you've been like, I really haven't checked in with them in a while. Go do that.

Gabrielle Ruiz:

Yeah, go do that now.