When you begin labelling, everyone seems like a threat.
If you are a regular Reddit user, you may have seen it trending recently. It was a short clip filmed on the phone.
It was evening time. An Asian woman who looked between the age of 50-60 sat alone at the bus stop shelter when two teenagers circled her. You could see her visibly anxious, poking her head out to see if anyone was in sight to help.
What happened next was so disturbing that I completely lost my words.
The teenager who stood in front of her laughing at the cameraman suddenly jumped and kicked her face with both feet.
The video stopped there so I had no way to tell if the lady was okay.
She: My heart hurts.
He: This makes me so angry.
Me: I want to strangle those teenagers.
Living in a diverse city like Toronto, I had not come close to a racist incident. After a chat with someone from Korea who had worked in Australia, I realized my experience might have been an exception.
He: I’m really enjoying my time in Toronto. Everyone is so friendly.
Me: Oh? Were people not friendly in Melbourne?
He: Some were, but some don’t like Asians.
Me: You don’t want to talk about it?
He: Well, okay. One day, I was working at the cafe as usual. A man came in and shouted so that everyone in the store could hear, “I don’t want my coffee made by an Asian.”
Me: I’m… woah… that must have been awful.
He: I was a bit in shock. And, well, no one stepped in to help. Everyone just sort of pretended like nothing had happened. Then, I cut my working holiday short and left early.
Fear of the unknown and losing control made us turn against each other.
When you begin to view those as the other, you make them inferior in your mind so your ego stays secure.
Be aware, because you may not know it’s there.