SKYLER GALLARZAN WRITES — Last week, I had sent a text to my grandma and grandpa:
“Hi Mama and Papa,
I am sure you have been seeing the attacks that have been happening to Asian Americans in the news lately, especially older citizens. I just wanted to let you know that I love you both very much, and to stay safe not only with Covid-19, but with your surroundings! Some people are crazy. Love you both so much, see you soon.”
My grandparents are two elderly Filipino Americans who immigrated to the United States for a life of freedom, equality, and respect. I never thought I would have had to send them a text like that. My grandpa texted back with his gratitude, adding that he watches his surroundings, even when walking the dog in their suburban neighborhood. On March 19th, 2021, a 69-year-old Asian man was assaulted in Irvine, California when walking his dog in broad daylight.
When I see these hate crimes that prey on the vulnerable elderly, I can’t help but worry that this may happen to my own grandparents. It angers me that society would ever attack our mothers, fathers, grandparents. Many of our families came to the United States with hopes of a better future for their children. If there is anything that my upbringing as a Filipino has taught me, it is that we must treat our elders with respect, and to treat them with the utmost honor, because they have sacrificed so much for our lives. The way I see it, is that we must return the favor. They are human beings, and not a virus. This is not the future they had daydreamed of. Stop Asian Hate.