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  • Writer's pictureFitPros Workplace Wellbeing

#StopAsianHate: We Deserve To Feel Safe

By Jasmine Manalo

FitPros Community Manager and Proud Filipina

“Ingat” as a verb means “take care” in Tagalog. It’s usually said when parting from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. “Ingat” gently envelops us with love and protection before heading back out into the world.

I think back to all the times in my life walking this earth as a Filipina and I’m proud of how much progress, how much love, and how much appreciation I have cultivated for my skin, my culture, and this community. But with that, I also think of all the times the world has made me, my loved ones, and those who look like me feel uncomfortable and terrified to even exist in this skin.

Personally, it’s been an overwhelming past few months as my emotions are being triggered by the rapid increase of anti-Asian hate crime and violence, especially in light of the Atlanta Spa Shooting. As an Asian American, seeing innocent lives impacted within our AAPI community breaks my heart, especially when the violent attacks have disproportionately affected women and the elderly. Many of the viral attacks have happened in the place I’ve called home for the past 9 years, the San Francisco Bay Area, and one attack even occurred within my own neighborhood of Daly City, just a few blocks down the street from where I live. I tear up, I learn, I support, I tear up, I check in, I think, I read, I scroll. I scroll. I scroll.

Anti-Asian racism has existed long before COVID-19. The only difference is that today, we have the technology to witness it, spread it to the masses, and once we see it, we can’t unsee it, and now the whole world is left to deal with it. Since the beginning of COVID-19, there have been countless stories exposed about the hate our community has faced- the terms “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” normalized, our elders being pushed to the ground and even to their death, our people being coughed on, spit on, sprayed with hand sanitizer, punched, stabbed, beaten, robbed, mocked. But our reality has been denied by people who don’t look like us, and therefore our true, lived experiences have been dismissed.

To my fellow AAPI family- permission to feel is very taboo in our culture, but it is important to give yourself permission to have your authentic reactions as you hear and read the nonstop news of the violence against our community. Give your exhausted soul some time to breathe and catch up. Grieve, cry, and exhale everything out and turn to those you love for support. Give your body the space to acknowledge the pain that society has taught us to silence and carry inside for so long. You must not forget to take care of yourself first to remain present, which will ultimately enrich your strength to continue the fight for our community.

We at FitPros recognize that there is a lot going on within the AAPI community and in our hearts right now. We continue to be committed to equality and stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, including our clients, partners, teachers, and speakers, in the fight against racism and injustice. Let’s continue to be intentional with our activism, the language we use, and the spaces we create. To read more about our stance and commitment, please read FitPros Founder and CEO Lindsay Johnson’s statement.

I don’t know what else to say except - Ingat. Please take care.

Jasmine Manalo

FitPros Community Manager and Proud Filipina


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