Advice from a black guy after the murders in Atlanta

dex digital
2 min readMar 17, 2021

Hi. I’m black, and I have some advice that may or may not apply to you.

That is: I don’t have any advice for Asian people today. I do, however, have some for non-Asian people. If that’s you, feel free to read on.

This advice comes from the perspective of a black guy who got lots of ‘just checking in’ messages when George Floyd was murdered. From people I hadn’t heard from in years. Most (not all) were white.

Short messages. Long messages. Predictable messages.

A rush of

I had no idea it was so bad/now I believe you/I’m sorry I made racist jokes 5 years ago/1 year ago/last week/how can I help


What am I supposed to say? ‘all good bro, buy me a hamburger and we straight’?

Enough preamble. Here’s my advice for non-Asian people:

If you’re feeling inspired to ‘check in’ — pause. Listen twice, speak once. If that.

Take a moment. Think. Why are you ‘checking in’?

Maybe to apologize for not taking seriously when they worried about people, not least the former President, blaming Asia/Asians for COVID?

Or for not taking seriously how closely Anti-Asian rhetoric and the fetishization of Asian women are related? [hint: it’s a short hop from dehumanization to actual violence]

Also, this ‘friend’: are they even your friend? Or just the one Asian person in your office?

Are you ‘checking in’ so *you* can feel better? Do you wanna be a help, or a burden?

Maybe this seems insensitive. But If I can stop one person from getting the

hi sorry for calling you [racist slur here] back in high school lol we’re good now tho right?

DMs that I got last summer, then I don’t care, I’ve done my job here.

And no, I’m not just telling you to shut up and do nothing.

There’s plenty you can do:
• donate to a nonprofit/org. yes, this costs money
• read/listen to what Asian people are saying. This is often free!
• hit up your friend/relative that posts racist memes, tell them to stop. If you have a phone, this is also free!
• vote

Again: I’m not saying you can’t DM your BFF.

I’m just suggesting: first, listen. Listen twice. Then speak. Once. If that. And consider speaking to your own people.

Last thing. I said I don’t have any advice for Asian people today, but I do have a few words: this sucks, I’m sorry, I see you.

I hope you’re taking care of yourself. This is gonna be difficult.