On the Atlanta Shootings
a personal narrative by Amber Ting
Dear Asian Youth,
BCC released an article a couple of hours after the Atlanta shootings saying, “Officials cannot yet confirm if the attack, in which six Asian women were killed, was racially motivated.”
Can we all agree to call it like it is?
A fact is something that is known or proved to be true.
Here are some facts: I have been both nervous and excited to return to my predominantly white boarding school. It is raining here in Taiwan. The sky is blue. Six Asian women died. Robert Aaron Long committed a hate crime.
Yet according to Long, he had a “sex addiction.”
It is crucial that we talk about this. One white male had a “sex addiction”, so six Asian women paid for it with their lives. When have our bodies ever been our own?
I don’t want to get too caught up on specific words in this short piece right now.
No, I actually want to focus on the fact that this attack on our community has come in the middle of a sharp rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
I am furious right now. I am gnashing my teeth. But I have already been afraid for so long, and I know many of you have felt this way. I am so sorry. I wish I could reach around this screen and offer words of comfort or encouragement.
I am the 15-year-old girl who is quaking in my rain boots right now.
I am the 15-year-old girl who is crying in the streets while it is raining in Taiwan and the sky is blue, and I am a 15-year-old girl who is tired of crying.
I’ll admit it: I am scared of having to return to my boarding school, but what haunts me in the middle of the night is not dreams of being shot but of having to watch while someone shoots my little 13-year-old sister.
What haunts me is visions of my 13-year-old sister who yesterday picked out a mirror for her dorm room (we’re supposed to go to Boston together come September of next year) being shot over and over and over again because they have no mercy.
She’s my 13-year-old sister who yesterday sent me a text to make sure I was okay. She’s my 13-year-old sister who today told me she kind of liked cottagecore. She’s my 13-year-old sister who I love like poetry. She’s ONLY 13.
My fingers are trembling like matchsticks. I wish I could light these words on fire - light their limbs on fire, so that they can’t touch a single hair on my sister’s head.
But I am small, bird-boned, and meek. I am Asian. I have learned that that is weak.
My vision is blurring over because I am crying so hard. The rain is ripping this page apart.
I saw my mother in one of those women - her gentle laughter. I swear, she wears makeup like a burn victim. Meanwhile, my diary entries have begun to resemble the notes of a person who’s drowned. But what do you expect me to say? That I’m fine?
I am so, so afraid I’m going to lose someone. I don’t think 15 was supposed to feel like this.
- Amber Ting