Feeling Fearful — How can I be courageous in the face of xenophobia/racist behavior and hate crimes?


Hello Brooke and coaches,

I am a 1st generation Asian-American. My parents immigrated here and worked here. They met here in the States, got married, and I was born and raised in the U.S. I grew up in a small Midwest town, so I was basically the only Asian.

I rarely watch the news. I filter out the news that I read. And I try to focus on news media that serves me.

However, today, I happened to watch the Live coverage of Trump’s statement yesterday and for the first time heard that he used the term “Chinese Virus”.

Later on that day, I saw news of xenophobic/racist acts of a man yelling at an Asian man in a Target store for coughing, and then, pictures of an Asian man and his 8-year-old son with stab wounds on their faces from another man while in Walmart. And seeing this… well, it brought tears to my eyes…

Usually, (for some reason… likely a thought), these acts don’t trigger a strong emotion for me. I believe that there are good, loving humans out there. I realize that tensions are especially high with the COVID-19 pandemic. People are fearful and angry and don’t know any better.

And, After some reflection, I remembered how Mister Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” And there was… there was a young man who was about to leave Target, but he noticed the man and two other women yelling at the Asian man. So, he turned around and walked to them to try to diffuse the situation. And I love that there are courageous humans out there.

But I feel fearful.

I already vacillate between anxiety and acceptance… I am a mom physician. My husband is also a physician. We have a 2-year-old. I’m already concerned about the possibility that we could both get sick and die, and we are preparing ourselves for that possibility.

But now, to see the xenophobic behavior and the politically incorrect words in describing the virus by our president, it concerns me. My husband or I will eventually need to make a run to the grocery store or gas station.
Now I’m fearful of someone attacking me or him or my daughter for coughing.

As I walked outside with my 2-year-old alone in our neighborhood this evening, instead of relaxing into a nice evening stroll, I found myself clutching my keys in a way that I could defend us.

How can I get brave? How can I deal with someone or people who hate me or my family because we are Asian?
I need help with some thoughts, and I would appreciate it if you talked about this in one of your special live coaching sessions or in your Handling Chaos series. I have found each and every one immensely helpful in finding the calm in this uncertain time.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you do.