I told my parents about the recent news of using tear gas on illegal migrants. They retold me the story of us in Hong Kong back in 1995-1996. The story went like this:
My parents were boat people. They migrated to Hong Kong at different times. They met each other and fell in love. They lived there for a couple of years. In Nov – 1995, I was born in the refugee camp. At that time, the British and China were discussing handing back Hong Kong. In 1996, the Chinese Government dropped tear gas at the refugee camp to force all the refugees to leave. It was last for a couple of days. My parents were scared, not for their lives, not for their future, but for the life of their son who did not even know what was going on. They ran as fast as they could. They covered my face with a wet towel so that I did not breath in the air. They said that I did not cry, I was pretty quiet when They ran. They were scared that I stopped breathing. I was too small to remember anything. I was less than 6 months old at the time.
The Hong Kong government promised us that they would help us to go to a different country, but we had to wait until that some other countries accept our documentation. They sent us back to Vietnam. We lived there for 17 years. How we are in the U.S now is a totally different story.
Coming back to the recent news of using tear gas on illegal migrants, I refuse to write whether it is right or wrong to do so. But people don’t leave their homeland, their loved ones behind to risk their lives to go to a new place because that new place is so great. They leave because it is not going well back home ( not going well has multiple layers).
Oh well, and there are people who think that they lost their job because of immigrants. My mom is a nail technician. Yes, that Vietnamese lady who barely speak English, asking you want long nails or short nails, and charge for a very reasonable price. My dad is a tofu worker. For a long time, and let’s even go back history, are there a lot of white people do this kind of jobs? I am just wondering.
So what? What can I do, what can you do? what should we do?
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! from local offices to the presidency. When you put in that vote, think about the life that you can affect. That life can be the friends who help you with Stats 140 homework. That life can be that friend who works out with you. Or their parents, or that cleaning worker who clean your dorms bathroom every day; or the lady who hands out you the mask when there is any fire. That life can even be your professors, your co-worker, that CEOs who pay you,….. or you know, maybe just me, and you and our life.
To people “but I don’t like politics”, you may say. I get it, I don’t like it either. But I do care. At least I care about where that “extra $0.5 cent” call tax that I need to pay every time I buy my milk tea goes.
P/s: I am not telling my family story so that people can feel sorry for us, I am not asking for empathy. Also, I wish I had the kind of imagination to make up something like that to fool other people.