Reflections from My BIPOC Journal for Healing & Liberation
I’ve been deep in heartbreak, rage, and grief following the mass shooting of eight people including six Asian women at Asian-owned businesses by a white man, who is saying, “it’s not about race.” Rage because of how this crime against Asian women for being Asian women is being dismissed. Grief because of the theft of innocent lives and because I already feel justice won’t be served. I’m sharing some of my reflections from my BIPOC Journal for Healing & Liberation because acts of racial violence affect all of us and our well-being. In sharing our stories, pain, hopes, and dreams, we support our collective healing.
I am an Asian woman. I know firsthand that Asian women have been hypersexualized and objectified as part of white supremacy for generations. Objectifying Asian women because we are Asian women is hate. Targeting and killing Asian women because of a narrative, “they are tempting me,” rooted in white supremacist, racist fetishization of Asian women is hate.
For officials to take the word of the killer and to not name this for what it is cuts to the core. To deny racism against any group is to deny the lived experiences of all people of color. It’s hurtful, invalidating, dehumanizing.
I stand with my AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) sisters and brothers, as we carry the weight of the growth in hate crimes against the AAPI community and the injustice in the long history of discrimination against Asian Americans being minimized time and time again.
I stand with my Black and Brown sisters and brothers who are confronted with yet another example of a white man slaughtering innocent people of color, being detained safely, and receiving sympathy and the benefit of the doubt from police and officials, while we still fight for Black lives to be treated with humanity, dignity, and respect for walking, driving, sleeping. This month we mark the one-year anniversary of the police killing of Breonna Taylor. We are holding ourselves tight as we watch the criminal trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd begin.
I am deeply grateful for the notes of love and support I have received during this time. I feel affirmed and hopeful in seeing Black people voice solidarity with Asians, just as I feel hope in seeing Asians march and speak up in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all BIPOC communities.
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) experience oppression from white supremacy differently. It is also my belief that white supremacy damages the well-being of white people too. The differences in how we experience white supremacy, however, are not a threat to our pain and healing.
We call out and reject divisions between communities of color as a tool of white supremacy. We stand together. While some resources are scarce, our capacity for humanity, compassion, and love is not. I breathe, mourn, cry, write, speak, stand, and act together to end white supremacy and advance our collective healing and liberation.
Racial Healing Journals
I’ve been using my BIPOC Journal for Healing & Liberation, to release, process, and unpack my thoughts and feelings around the growth in hate crimes against the AAPI community, the Atlanta mass shooting, and both tensions AND solidarity between the Asian and Black community.
One of the prompts that I turned to immediately after the news of the shooting is, “I’m feeling pain (sorrow, rage, grief, exhaustion, etc.) from…” It was grounding and helpful to turn to this journal and this and other prompts with so many intense thoughts and emotions swirling in my head.
Another prompt from my BIPOC Journal for Healing & Liberation that has helped me process this experience is, "I experienced racism/racial trauma when... This has impacted my life by..."
While we don't want to get stuck in our pain, it's so important for our individual and collective healing to acknowledge, honor, feel, and express our pain from racial trauma. Having a whole section of journaling prompts in this racial healing journal on honoring my pain is creating space for me to move through these difficult feelings, without feeling as overwhelmed by all the feels.
If you’re looking for a racial healing journal to guide you in processing your feelings and thoughts around racism, unpacking racial trauma, bias, and privilege, and taking actions against white supremacy, toward collective healing and liberation, explore Journals for Racial Healing:
This collection of journals was co-created by Alina Liao of Zenit; activists, astrologer, and life coach Tracey L Rogers; and Kimberly Diaz and Andrew Daub of oneTILT, a nonprofit that helps organizations become more inclusive one tiny little thing at a time.