Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
These words have hit us particularly hard, not only because they clash with Persimmon's foundational values, but also because this sentiment is a deeply personal experience for two of us.
I lost my grandma three weeks ago to COVID-19. And, as I've been grappling with my loss away from my family in California—overwhelmed by trying to navigate the grief while still trying to navigate my day-to-day—the horrific violence against the most vulnerable in our country has been all the more heartbreaking and infuriating.
That pain has made raw the hurt from my own past traumas. I was born and raised in a predominantly white neighborhood, where I was called "flat face" by classmates, sat alone on the school bus every day because no one wanted to sit next to the girl who brought smelly food in her lunchbox, and watched my mom be ignored or asked to leave in public spaces.
As I reflect upon my own upbringing, I'm realizing that the unimaginable suffering that Vicha Ratanapakdee and Christian Hall's families are struggling through right now very much could've been my own family's pain. Vicha could've been my grandpa. Christian could've been my younger brother.
When something hits closer to home, it often becomes terrifyingly real.
No two Asian experiences, no two minority experiences, no two American experiences are the same. The one common thread is that we're all human—humans, who all have the same baseline responsibility to treat each other with decency and dignity.
So today, as we celebrate Lunar New Year and cherish Asian American identities and communities, we as a brand want to voice the importance of consistently supporting and uplifting our Asian brothers and sisters along with every other minority group in the U.S. and beyond. As we wrestle with the unacceptable hate crimes and racist rhetoric of this past year alone, let us challenge ourselves to never be bystanders again; to never condone violence or racism, especially against the most vulnerable.
And, to never forget: you are enough.
Image from Heart of Dinner
We're pledging to donate 20% of our profits from our next coffee offering, Guatemala Gidae, to @heartofdinner—a non-profit organization based in NYC that delivers warm meals and fresh groceries to local Asian American elderly. Visit their website to learn about more ways of getting involved, from writing notes in Chinese or Korean for care packages to driving and delivering them if you have access to a car.