Re: Dinner with a white nationalist

I just saw this video on Youtube. Here’s my response (originally a Facebook post, but I decided to post it here as well)

I don’t understand white nationalism either, and I under no circumstances will approve of such a viewpoint that endorses separation based on race.

But having that said, I dislike the fact that this video portrays this so-called “white nationalist” as an ignorant villain. He’s been invited to dinner, after all, and as uncomfortable as his views are to me, I feel that he should have been given a chance to speak without being constantly interrupted or “truth bombed”. To me it’s not about proving the other person wrong or who has the strongest of facts. It’s about recognizing each other as human beings, though sometimes with harmful and unreasonable perspectives. Not all “white nationalists” are psychopaths that want to hunt down people of colour with a crossbow.

I understand what this video is trying to achieve. The Asian dude spoke of compassion. But I think compassion goes both ways. I do not stand for racism and will not tolerate it, but this white nationalist speaks of fear of the dispossession of white America. And fear is something that is fundamentally human. And I think I can sympathize with that fear, although most certainly not his views. People fear change. It feels like you are going to lose parts of yourself when there are changes underway.

I understand that. On a simpler and more personal level: when I first immigrated, I only wanted to hang out with Asian people because I was scared of racial discrimination and I was scared of being rejected by people of other races, especially white people. That was an act of fear. Yes, discrimination did and still does exist, but I grew up in BC Canada with a minimal experience of racism. Rarely I was made to feel “Asian and therefore didn’t belong”. I experienced none of that.

So for white folks, maybe that fear becomes reflected in their need to hold on to this…illusory “power” of being the majority. Which, again, I can sympathize with, but perhaps this struggle to secure power and position is rather misplaced.

If strength comes from numbers, then there is more of us together, whites, Asians, blacks–all of us together. If strength comes from familiarity, or sharing qualities or “iconic” features, of likes banding together and sticking together, then there is more of us together.

All of us came from our parents, or people who loved us. We swam in the ocean that was our mothers’ womb for nine and a half months. We were all children once, growing up with dreams, aspirations, bitterness and heartache. We all fall in love at some point in our lives. We all get sick. We’ve all wanted something bigger than ourselves. And we’ve all been afraid. There are days when we are better, and then there are days when are worse.

On the days when we are worse, that’s when we choose. We choose to be better by confronting our fears. We choose to be better by admitting that we are afraid. We choose to be better by recognizing that we are not dissimilar, and that we are human and we are made of the same stuff, and that we are driven by fear.

Yes, we are all afraid, but look at the progress we made. Look at how far we’ve come and we’ve barely started yet in the grand scheme of things. If we are all capable of fear together, then we must be capable of courage. Because if humanity is meant to hide and cower in a cave, we would have never made it past the Stone Age. If fear universal brings about the worst of us, then courage shall bring about the best of us. That’s what evolution is. This is a point in history where we choose to evolve. We evolve by changing with the people around us. We evolve by changing ourselves.

Yes, “we all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means―hey, glass half full!―we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what type of animal you are, from the biggest elephant to our first fox, I implore you:

Try. Try to make the world a better place.

Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you.

It starts with me. It starts with all of us.”

Yeah I just quoted Zootopia.

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