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Wednesday, March 17, 2021


by Imogen Arate

Shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors have left eight people dead, most of them Asian women. In this photo, former Washington Governor and former US Ambassador to China Gary Locke holds a sign reading "Hate is a Virus" as he speaks during the "We Are Not Silent" rally against anti-Asian hate in response to recent anti-Asian crime in the Chinatown-International District of Seattle, Washington on March 13, 2021. Photo: JASON REDMOND / AFP/GETTY via Newsweek

Yes, something is horribly wrong with a person who kills to “eliminate” temptation. … But, that does not mean we can dismiss places where this illness festered. … Women are not the source of temptation in need of elimination. Women are made in the image of God and worthy of dignity and respect. Asian women are not objects of fetishized desire for the racialized gaze of men. So, let’s pray for the victims' families that the Lord may grant them peace in the midst of such tragedy. Let’s stand up and alongside our Asian brothers and sisters. Let’s work against twisted and unhealthy theology that maligns and distorts the image of God in women (and men). —Ed Setzer, Christianity Today: The Exchange, March 17, 2021

I tell my mom not to visit the accountant’s office
Rona’s run amuck suffocating freedom of movement

The walls of my apartment wrap me like a protective cloak
whose porousness admits the chilling draft of side-eye glares

I scrub myself clean of my heritage but my eyes my cheeks
my nose tell another story that doesn’t allow a really bad day

to end in a murder spree that’s for a paler lot than us
Someone told me I’m the wrong shade to opine

then flashed the peace sign because V fingers
can scissor away the pangs of exclusionary acts

when I’m standing at the back of the BIPOC line
I tell my mom there’s only so much I can do to protect her

Imogen Arate is an award-winning Asian-American poet and writer, the Executive Producer and Host of the weekly poetry podcast Poets and Muses and co-founder of the Pan Poetry Project. She has written in four languages and published in two. Her work was most recently featured in The New Verse News, the Love Letters to 2020 anthology, the Global Poemic, and Rigorous.