The world needs more love & empathy

I don’t typically write politically related articles here on this blog but as someone who is not a Caucasian and clearly a visible minority, I think it’s more than important for me to write this post. If some readers decide to unfollow this blog, unfollow me on social media, or unsubscribe the email list, so be it.

Last week was a crazy week. It started off with Amy Cooper, a white woman calling the police when Christian Cooper, a black man, politely asked her to put a leash on her dog. Amy was in an area in Central Park that required dogs to be on a leash. Rather than leashing her dog and apologize, Amy then proceeded to call 911 and told the police that Christian was threatening her. Then on the same day, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a deli employee called 911 accusing him of using a counterfeit $20 bill. George Floyd was later pronounced dead at the hospital. As the news broke out, videos of the arrest emerged, showing police officers pinning George on the ground with one of the police officers putting his knee George’s neck for more than eight minutes. George told the officers that he couldn’t breathe repeatedly. Eventually, George stopped moving but the kneeing continued for almost three minutes after George became unresponsive.

I was sickened and deeply saddened by these two events. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this kind of racist event has happened. Earlier this year Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot and killed by two white men while Ahmaud was out jogging in his own neighbourhood.

Why are this kind of crap and social injustice still happening? Why do black people seem to get unfair treatments and get unfairly assumed that they are guilty of something all the freaking time?

On the other hand, Caucasians seem to get very favourable treatments when they commit a serious crime. For example, Brock Turner who raped an unconscious woman but only got a six-month sentence because he was “an Olympic hopeful and his future shouldn’t get ruined by a crime.”

WTF?

Whatever happened to equal justice for all? Whatever happened to talking nicely to other people? Whatever happened to treating everyone with respect?

It’s easy to say that racism does not happen here in Canada. It’s easy to say that we Canadians are more acceptable and more tolerant of everyone.

Unfortunately, racism does exist in Canada. Racism is not a uniquely American problem. There have been systemic inequalities that have long plagued black and Indigenous communities in Canada. If anything racism is a little bit different than the US, perhaps in a more settle way.

Growing up in Canada, I have had a few racism encounters. For example, the year that we immigrated to Canada, we were driving around town checking out open houses one day. I distinctly remembered coming out one of the houses and noticing a note on our car’s dashboard. “Go home Chinks” was written on the note. We were shocked and couldn’t believe what had just happened. Although we reported this event to the police, nothing came out of it.

Why do some people think they are better than someone else because of their skin colour? Why do some people think they can get differential treatment because of their skin colour?

We are all humans. Yes we all have differences. But why can’t we respect each other and understand that we all have our differences? Can’t we set aside the differences and work together for the greater good of humankind?

Last time I checked, cats and dogs don’t treat each other differently because they have different fur colours or because they are different breeds. Yet for some odd reasons, we humans can’t seem to get past the different skin colours.

We are the same inside!

The least we can all do is try to feel and understand what someone else is going through. Before saying anything, try to walk in his and her shoes and try to understand.

The world needs more love, more connections, more understanding, more empathy, more education, more togetherness, more peace, more equal justice, more compassion.

And less of the BS and crap that are going around.

We are all born into the world as innocent beings. We need to stop teaching racism and the unjustified hate.

Let’s stop treating each other badly and devalue each other because of our differences.

More peace, more compassion, more empathy, more understanding and we can slowly create a better world.

And how is all of this related to financial independence retire early (FIRE)? Well, if you look around, you’ll find that the FIRE community is predominately white. So I believe, it is more important than ever for non-white folks, myself included, to spread the different stories and experiences that non-white folks go through along the FIRE journey. Through the different personal stories and views, hopefully, we can all learn from each other and become better beings.

A better world is possible. All it takes is one little step at first. I’ll end this post with a couple of quotes I love:

“I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.”

Malcom X

and

“Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of colour to deal with it. It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”

Michelle Obama

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29 thoughts on “The world needs more love & empathy”

  1. Well said, my friend. Well said.

    Racism is alive everywhere, though I’d say it is not as prevalent in Canada as in the States. This is coming from someone who also immigrated to Canada as a teenager though I now consider myself to be fully Canadian.

    When we first moved here, I also experienced racism at school. But I have not experienced anything lately (I’m a visible minority too). That does NOT mean that it is all well and good. I’m sure new immigrants face massive discrimination and I do not know of a way to fix it.

    I’m happy that people will now be taking this more seriously, but alas a man died and that is a true tragedy.

    Reply
    • Hi R,

      Like you, I see myself as a Canadian too. Afterall, I’ve lived in Canada for more years than in Taiwan. I haven’t experienced anything racism lately either but I know it is still around. There certainly have been more reports of racism targeted toward Asians the last few months due to COVID-19. It’s really sad. We can’t just sweep this topic under the rug.

      Reply
      • In Canada I wonder how much of racism is actually just old fashion bullying. I’m white and grew up being bullied as do a lot of people. It¡s horrible. Secondly we need to keep racism in perspective, for every Karen in Canada the US has hundreds more. Diane Francis put it best when she said the US has a massive seething underclass. We are very very fortunate in Canada that we don’t have it.

        PS What does bother me is the pile on when a unnamed columnist says Canada isn’t as racist as the Liberals made it out to be. Considering the reaction I’m shocked he wasn’t cancelled

        Reply
  2. Thank you for writing this post. This message needs to be continuously spread until it is no longer needed. I don’t know where racism originated, but throughout history, even in the bible, it has occurred in some form. It seems that humans seem destined to repeat it.

    We need to teach and inform each new generation that there is a better way to live. We need to demonstrate a better way and call out bad behaviour. Our police forces need to be taught that there are ways of enforcing the laws fairly and equally, with professionalism, not brutality. They need to protect all members of their communities equally. Their motto is to serve and protect. It does not contain conditions, it is all encompassing.

    Let’s all work for a better, respectful society and community. We owe it to ourselves and future generations

    Reply
    • Yes, we need to continue to demonstrate and teach people there is a better way to live and treat other people. Our skin colours shouldn’t dictate how we get treated. Everyone should be treated equally and with respect.

      Reply
  3. Well said Bob, longtime follower of your site and I truly believe using your platform, big or small is an important thing to do right now

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply
  4. Hi Bob,

    Great article.

    It takes courage to write about stuff like this these days.

    I wonder what our politicians who are loudly berating China are doing when they do not make a distinction between the Chinese government and Chinese Canadians. I would like to give people a benefit of the doubt. Being politicians I know that they are smart enough to know what words mean and the effect they can have. They say stuff all day.

    Populism is a dangerous thing, like Communism, Fascism, and other ideologies.

    What some people will say and do amazes me to get what they want. Power and money trumps a lot of principles and moral.

    Like a lot of things there is enough wealth and prosperity if we work to better the world and all
    who live in it.

    I do not think that the ideal world is out of reach. Only the selfish and unenlightened are holding us back. Why do people support the many lobby groups in the world? It is to keep what they have. I do not believe in a lot the conspiracy stuff. However if you read some of the exposed Panama Papers and other released banking documents it is really enlightening

    Black have be oppresses for over a century. How systematic exclusion from ie buying home in white areas that grew in value. Missing a growing area makes your household in the long term poorer.

    It is important to speak out because if we don’t later is not going to be better.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Thank you Mike. I wish all politicians will be more careful with their words. Many Chinese Canadians are 3rd or 4th generation Canadians and have no ties to China at all. It makes no sense to group them together with Chian IMO.

      We simply cannot stay silent over social injustice. We need to take action and show support.

      Reply
  5. Very timely and well stated Bob!

    Unfortunately, there are too many narrow minded people. Equally unfortunate, some of them are police officers, whom we are supposed to respect and trust. Hopefully the recent public exposure of these incidents will create greater awareness and promote at least some change.

    Reply
  6. Hi Bob,

    In the US, it may be different than Canada when it comes to Asian-ethnicity race relations and statistics?

    In the US, those of Asian ancestry do better from all practically notable measures as follow:
    1.) They have a much lower arrest rate (less than 1.3%) than their US population percentage (around 5.6%).
    2.) On average, They earn more money than all the other races in the US.
    3.) They usually have a net worth equal to Caucasians (I think today the Asian-ethnicity numbers might actually be higher today because of the recovery in the housing market).

    To be honest, I find I like Asians (including Indians from India) over Caucasians (or any other race) because we have more similarities and they are more friendly and positive like I am.

    I guess what I’m saying is that all races have good and bad individuals, and right now a lot of white-bashing is going on in the media. In the past, it was black-bashing, and in the future, it might be Asian-bashing, who knows…

    Please don’t be fooled into singling out the “white exceptions” (or really any of the exceptions no matter what race) from the media (both social and established) and typecast them as all US Caucasians (or whatever race). These days, perception is molded by the media and they are more interested in creating sensationalism or viral spread on social platforms.

    P.S. I included some URLs that I have used as the basis of my numbers above.

    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/tables/table-43
    https://www.financialsamurai.com/the-average-net-worth-and-income-for-asian-americans/

    Good luck (with FIRE)

    Reply
    • I’m not trying to single out anyone, that was not my intention. What I wanted is to bring out awareness of this social injustice rather than staying silent. Too many people are staying silent and hoping things will pass by so they don’t need to get involved. This is exactly the reason why things don’t progress in our society IMO.

      Reply
  7. If anyone unsubscribes, you didn’t want them anyway. My heart breaks every time I hear or witness an act of racism ( note, Caucasian born in Canada). I’m unable to comprehend what is still happening.

    Love all your comments…thank you…for everything you post, financial or otherwise.

    Reply
  8. I’m glad that you wrote this. It’s important for us to speak up not just as fellow minorities but as people who are actively used as examples to justify anti-Blackness.

    Asians “do better in the US” only in the sense that some Asians are able to do reasonably well for themselves and they are visible. But those examples are typically used to reinforce the white supremacy / patriarchy / racist structure in the US and to cover up the fact that racism permeates every aspect of our society and culture. It’s the model minority myth. There are MANY Asian Americans who aren’t doing well financially, there are Asian gangs, etc. Asians aren’t treated better because we are considered more equal. We’re just tolerated a little more as long as we “behave” and that tolerance goes away very easily. However, look at the Chinese Exclusion Act, look at the internment camps, look at how quickly this President was willing to bash the Chinese without nuance or thought with regard to COVID which immediately translated to anti-Asian racist incidents. Racism in America simply varies by degrees and it affects everyone. The absolute worst, however, is the anti-Black racism here and it absolutely must stop.

    I don’t know if we are seeing a point in history where the tide will turn but I hope that people will be more willing to examine the role of racism in their lives and learn how to unroot it. Like in Mr SSC’s post, it’s a journey we all need to take and work we need to do.

    Reply
    • The whole “Asians do better in the US” is a stereotype IMO. There are Asians that are suffering and having tough times. We can’t just group everyone together and give them labels. There’s definitely a problem with generalization.

      Reply
  9. Hi Bob, thank you for writing this post. It’s very brave of you to do so, as we need messages like this more than ever.

    It’s extremely painful to hear stories like the death of George Floyd even though I’m living halfway across the world in Singapore. As a Singaporean Chinese, I’ve never experienced racism in Singapore, but it was hurtful to be called a “chink” and being refused service because of my race when I travel to Western countries. If this is already hurtful, I can’t imagine what it must be like for minorities living in these countries. This needs to stop.

    I’m sorry that you had to go through that as well, and you’re inspiring for sharing messages like this no matter the reception, instead of keeping silent. The anti-Black racism is truly heart-breaking, and hopefully with more messages like this, more awareness will be spread, and more people will come to accept that no race is better than the other.

    Reply
    • Thank you. Racism or any kind of discrimination is not OK. People need to understand that. I really hope we can take a big step forward and become more acceptable. We are all human.

      Reply
  10. Good post. We can’t stay silent any longer. Not being a racist is not enough. If you have a voice, you need to use it to fight racism. Even talking to family and kids will help improve the world. I experience minor racist comments and questions, but I never have to fear for my life when I talk to the police.
    FIRE is a lot harder for black and brown people because of systematic racism. All of us need to learn more and help fix the problem.

    Reply
    • I agree that FIRE is a lot harder for people with lower income and unfortunately black and brown people seem to have lower income and get poor treatments.

      Reply
  11. Thank you Bob for your thoughtful post. Using your platform to spread a message of love and empathy is so important. Let’s hope these difficult times herald positive change.

    Reply

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