To the Editor:

Darien is a bubble. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase, I’d have enough money to pay my college tuition. As an Asian American and member of the LGBTQ+ community, I understand the difficulties of being a minority. I’ve found that my Asian American identity has largely been shaped by the model minority stereotype which categorizes Asians as smart, obedient, and hardworking. Though seemingly harmless, this stereotype has damaged the way Asians are viewed and treated today. I, myself, have let the model minority myth dictate my identity for far too long. With the recent calls for racial justice and equality, I have become empowered to raise my voice.

While my voice may not be one from the majority, I refuse to be silent. I encourage all minorities to find their voice. Your voice matters now more than ever. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement has made it evident that President Trump shows little regard for minority communities. By calling the Black Lives Matter movement a “symbol of hate” and nicknaming the coronavirus as “kung-flu,” our president has gone from dog whistle racism to shouting it out loud. His use of such rhetoric has emboldened his followers to lash out at people of color in similar fashion.

For example, Michael Lofthouse, CEO of the small tech firm Solid8, was recently caught on video in a racist tirade against an Asian family celebrating a birthday. In fact, Lofthouse even invoked the president’s name in his rant, saying “Trump’s going to f—- you.” Furthermore, the president’s apathy toward minority communities was evident in his response to the incident involving NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallce, and a rope pull that looked similar to a noose in his racetrack garage. Trump’s response? Instead of a message of unity, he tweeted that Wallace should apologize to all the NASCAR drivers and officials who stood by his side during this “hoax.” Just to clarify, it was NASCAR that reported the noose in the garage to Wallace. If leaders are meant to lead by example, should we really be letting President Trump lead the country with his ignorant and racist remarks? If you don’t agree with the direction of the country on social issues, it’s clear that we need to change.

Change means finding your voice and using it. I’ve seen a lot of my peers use their platforms on social media to advocate for social justice and change regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. The amount of conversation they have sparked is monumental but what happens beyond the talking? We need to back up our words with action. Recently, I began volunteering for the Action Network of Darien Democrats (ANDD) and Joe Biden’s campaign. ANDD’s mission is to elect democrats at the local, state, and national level. In order to achieve social justice and equality, we need leaders who will listen to the voices of ALL in the community. Equality does not mean equality for some, it means equality for ALL.

Caitlin Chan

Darien