Last night, one of the people in my US Overwatch squad asked when I will move back to China while we were queuing for a game. I refuted, saying “well, I am from Taiwan”. Two other people in the group backed me up immediately and said “sorry he’s pro the Chinese government” jokingly.
I know he just didn’t know, but it hurts as much. This isn’t the first instance and it won’t be the last. Once again, I will not be able to stop thinking about this for a while.
As I contemplate escaping the US, I look towards my homeland that is constantly and currently being terrorized by the Chinese government every day. I found myself wondering where the line is as we continued with the games last night. How can I make sure that at the very least, people I consider as friends know that this is an issue near and dear to my heart and make the effort to understand it? But at the same time, how can I also avoid being the person who is “making everything political” and ruining the fun?
I can’t pretend this issue doesn’t exist while the Chinese government is threatening invasion. I can’t act as if it’s not everywhere when I was just on the FedEx website and had to choose “Taiwan, China” from the dropdown. I can’t ignore this problem while organizations like the WHO excludes us and costed us lives during SARS, and would have costed more during COVID-19 if our government didn’t fight like hell.
I can’t check politics at the door when I enter this game, this meeting, or this company. It is part of my life because everything around me contantly reminds me of it and works against me because of it. I don’t want it to be, but it is. I don’t have a choice but to fight against oppression every minute of my life because the alternative is pain and suffering. Action/Reaction. They come in forms small as paper cuts, and big as the very real possibility of losing human/civil rights.
And what do I do as a woman in tech? what do I do as a person of color in the US? what do I do as an immigrant? what do I do as I see others close to me struggling with similar issues?
I don’t know how they don’t, can’t, won’t see us, or see how “mission-focused” plainly suggests to ignore your bleeding wound for 8 hours a day while new wounds appear and old wounds deteriorate.