Yellow-skinned targets

Fracturing, shattering, social disharmony,

An invisible threat makes them reach for their armoury.

Seeking a scapegoat to bestow all the blame,

Fingers land on my heritage and then comes the shame.

***

Where I see my skin they see yellow-stained targets,

To launch insult missiles and harsh verbal rockets.

The air is an echo of “Go back to your country,”

Makes me realise that fear dissolves all of our unity.

***

These times are distressing, frustrations run high,

But no reason for feral, wild fury to fly.

They forget that their struggles are shared by us too,

That none want this virus nor to bring it to you.

***

The world is in pain and overburdened by stresses,

But hurting your equals won’t guarantee successes.

Compassion, respect, please keep that in mind,

I’m Asian, not a death threat, so treat me in kind.

***

I’ve written this in response to hearing about cruel attacks on individuals of Asian (and particularly Chinese) descent as a result of this pandemic. I thankfully have not personally experienced any discrimination, but seeing such incidents on the news is deeply upsetting and also frightening. Being born and raised in Australia, I’ve always valued and been proud of our multi-culturalism and being able to celebrate people from different backgrounds. Whilst these are trying times and I can see how fear can breed irrational behaviour, attacking innocent people is wrong and there will never be a justification for it. We are all in the same boat, we are living through the same struggles and there is no excuse to use an entire race/nationality as a punching bag. Be kind. Stay safe.


75 thoughts on “Yellow-skinned targets

  1. Very sorry for what is going on. Human nature at it’s worse. Africans are going through same in China, how horrible. When will humans learn?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been reading about attacks on Asians (Asian Americans, most likely) in the USA. I never get it, and I’m angered. The world is wonderful with diversity. There are so many stories to learn, to enjoy, to celebrate. I already know what’s it’s like inside my skin. I find encountering those different from me both a treat and a privilege–and, you know, appreciate (of course) that we’re all human. I probably don’t need to tell you how talented you are and how open. You should never have to risk anything for who you are. Scapegoats? What’s the point? That is a human thing, I know. But it’s a failing thing. We should know better and do better. Your verse is telling and persuasive. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for understanding and being a positive voice in the world. I really appreciate those kind words and everything you have said. Let’s hope once the world recovers from this we can strive to be better.

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  3. Racism, ageism, sexism, etc ; all of these always have the same root cause; ignorance, as David said. The only way to solve ignorance is education. The problem is that the will to make education a priority has to come from the top. Sometimes we’re lucky and those at the top understand the importance of education, but most politicians and leaders only pay it lip service.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true. I think even with education some people will choose to remain ignorant and there will always be hatred in the world. We can only try to be the best that we can be and hope the majority will do the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Japanese Americans put in camps in the US during the WW II. Jews were killed by the millions in Germany. Indigenous Americans were all but exterminated while building this country. We like to think we are no longer like that. But there will always be haters looking for a reason and someone to hate. I wish it weren’t so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true. I don’t think we will ever be able to eradicate discrimination from the world, we can only hope most people know right from wrong and can continue to spread the good in humanity.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree Doctor. History continues to repeat itself. You would think the western world would learn and still the same atrocities continue. This is horrible for so many reasons. I have always thought any type of racism is a result of ignorance. Please stay safe and healthy, great post Doctor. Love Joni

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know but I keep praying and crying when I see the devastating discrimination all over the world. What is wrong with us? We have to make change by setting an example in the way we live and act. Love you Helen please don’t let it get to you too much right now as you need to protect your immune system. Love and blessings Joni

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much Joni ❀ I am glad to see only a few cases have happened here in Australia, but I suppose it's something I was prepared to see. Perhaps that sounds even worse saying that. I am thankful to be at home, probably a little more worried once I am able to go back on placement and back to work. Hopefully we don't see much more of these terrible incidents!

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  6. When people are afraid and have suffered injury, they look for a guilty party to blame. The usual suspects are members of some out-group, which might be racial, national, or religious. It’s sad but it’s human nature. All we can do is refrain from that kind of thinking and try to dissuade other people from it. I wish that I had a better remedy.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I know, humanity is capable of so much good and yet so much evil. I hope that the majority will continue to be compassionate and understanding, and for each of us to practise what we preach

      Like

  7. Racism is alive and real. Always has been, always will be. It is amazing that humans will always seem to perpetuate these behaviors no matter what. They are rooted in ignorance, fear, lack of education and sometimes just downright meanness and cruelty. Anyway we all have to stay safe and keep safe, these are tough times in the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sending you love and assurance that I don’t blame the Chinese people. As you say – everyone has suffered and it is a pity that some seem to want to pin blame. Blame is for the ignorant – it helps no one. Solutions and healing are for the wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You also have the heritage of being a kind and lyrical voice, in a world that has forgotten how to truly value such things.
    A big voice.
    Not a small voice in a crowd, or a cheap shot on a social media post.
    That’s a magnificent gift to the world right there…
    the best of being human.

    (Lovely looking piece of coast in that pic, btw)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post, on a very painful subject. I have been in your shoes. As a first-generation Indian-American I too have been told on multiple occasions to “go home” by descendants of other people who went to America before we or our parents did. It is not fair. Anyway, thank you for stopping by my blog and appreciating my poetry. I wish you the very best always.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Some anger directed against Chinese authorities due to the Covid-19 crisis may have spilled over to innocent Chinese and Australians of Chinese descent. This to an extent is a downside of human nature; but most Australians, I believe, don’t feel this way. Australians generally are tolerant and welcoming to those immigrants who contribute positively to the country, and you and your family obviously fit into that category. Don’t be discouraged by a few fools blowing off steam β€” you have plenty of friends. I don’t normally comment outside my blog, but your poem touched me. I have been critical of the Chinese Communist rulers in some of my poems but then I am a satirist so it’s my job to upset people. All the best for your future, and keep up the poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree, the minority cannot speak for all of us and I am certain most people have a kind and compassionate heart. Thank you so much Dennis for those kind words, it really makes me feel better knowing that πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Aw I wish you safety and peace. This virus has impacted us on a global scale. People should not be attacking but supportive towards one another. Asian or American or anything. We need each other. Great post . πŸ™‚ I hope no one has treated you badly over this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ I haven’t experienced it personally, which I am very thankful for. But that might also be because I haven’t left the house in what seems like 2 months. Things may change as I am going back to the hospital for placements in June, but I think the majority of Australians are compassionate people who would never do such things!

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  13. Beautifully expressed Helen. The blame and discrimination that is thrust upon Asians for COVID-19 (or any other reason) is unacceptable. Your patience and understanding are commendable.

    Liked by 1 person

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