Gaslit once again! Now forgive me for the curse of memory, but, I distinctly remember the nineties in Cali when Asian storekeepers were blasting black people left, right, and center as we were spending our hard earned coins in their nail shops, beauty supplies, and corner stores. Hello, lest we forget #LatashaHarlins, a 15-year old black girl who was shot in the back of the head by a Korean store owner over a bottle of OJ. Latasha is but one example of the ‘us v. them’ tensions that exist between Asians in the black community. I might add, a community rife with Asian businesses that make more than a fortune off the backs of black folks. Having lived in and around black neighborhoods where Asian businesses are mostly located, I didn’t witness much Asian hate that wasn’t reciprocated in some measure. I mean, to this day, the surveillance cameras in Asian businesses stay on black even-though they have begun to hire black employees, finally!
As a hairstylist working in close proximity, I vividly remember deescalating a fight in an adjoining nail salon because a sista changed her mind about getting a new set after having had her old set soaked off. For all my non-nail wearers; typically, when you have a pre-existing set of nails that have either grown out past the point of a fill-in, or you have so many broken nails or nails in need of repair, that it would cost more to repair them then it would to replace them. In this instance, the salon would offer you a discount, in this case $5, to remove the old set before applying the new set at full price. One of the many ways in which a nail tech incentivizes a customer into getting a new service while also up selling their tickets. Sometimes these tactics backfire-communication is key, especially when the language barrier goes In and out depending on who has the advantage. That sista didn’t know how deep that back room roster ran until she tried to leave without paying. What she thought was a salon of only two nail techs ‘on duty,’ turned out to be twelve ‘armed’ cousins, auntie’s, and grannies wielding sticks, baseball bats, and metal batons. Next door, dutifully minding my black-owned hair business, I heard the ass-whooping before I saw it, the walls sounding like the whole Earth, Wind, & Fire percussion section, a common scene in nail salons. So, when the Senate “overwhelmingly”passed the #Covid-19HateCrimesAct with a vote tally of 94-1, It was a tuff pill to swallow.
Yes, violence against the Asian community IS on the rise and IS unacceptable, but following a summer of protest and riots in response to police departments everywhere using excessive force for minor infractions at best, and just plain murder; including, the live feed of an American citizen having his life snuffed out by a monster in a badge at its worst. But please spare us the disingenuous show of concern for the AAPI community in order to change the subject from the gains the BLM movement has made at exposing the true enemy, white fragility and inequality of justice in law enforcement.