On our front page this week, we ran a story about Danny Vega, a Filipino American who died from injuries sustained during a beating by three young men. Though a very sad story, we found it heartening that many within the Filipino community have rallied around this tragedy, urgently working to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
Similarly, it is nice to see how others outside the Filipino community, such as the LGBT community and the Spanish-speaking community, have lent their support.
It does beg a question though. Why must it take a tragedy for people to work together toward a common cause? Shouldn’t we always work together?
There can be a lot of pettiness within the Asian community. Perhaps this has to do with the culture’s over-emphasis on hierarchy and deference. Within the Asian community, grudges can last a whole lifetime.
All too often, we hear people say, “I don’t want to work with this person,” for reasons that are not particularly relevant to the situation at hand.
For instance, we have witnessed people say some variation of, “I don’t like the mother, so I won’t work with the daughter.”
We have to ask, what does a daughter have to do with her parent’s misdeeds? Is the grudge really substantial enough that a volunteer effort should suffer because of it?
This community needs to put aside personal differences and always come together, rain or shine, when the people within it have common goals. There are particular issues or areas that are easy for us to unite around.
Political candidates who come from our community, who are Asian or Pacific Islanders, are good causes to support. Also, we should unite on issues concerning the growth of the International District.
And this spirit of working together and being interconnected shouldn’t just end with the Asian community.
It’s also important for other racial and ethnic groups to work well internally because when group members work well together, the group will work well with other communities.
As we know from our jobs, we don’t actually have to like someone to work with that person. It’s a fact of life that people don’t always get along.
The next time someone says, “We don’t want to support this person,” he or she should think long and hard. Is the reason for saying that based on a personal bias? If it is, then it’s time to get over the past and work together for the common good. (end)