The events of last week in the US have been a shock to us here at FreakLabs. As an organization, I've tried to build this company to do things to try to improve the world such as environmental monitoring, agriculture technology, renewable energy, and humanitarian work. We've been involved in working through natural disasters, helping displaced people, and monitoring endangered areas. In my mind, one of the greatest disasters I've experienced so far in my life occurred last week in the 2016 US presidential election.
When I was a child growing up in Southern California, as a Chinese-American, I always wondered why my family seemed so much different than the families I see on TV. We spoke a different language at home, we ate different food, and our family culture was completely different than what I was exposed to in American pop culture. My sister and I were the only Chinese people at our school for a very long time. There were times when I walked home and kids riding their bike would spit in my face as they rode past me. I had to endure constant bullying and kids saying "Ching chong ching chong" and pull the corners of their eyes up to make them slanted. The racism and bigotry of the kids around me were obvious and it made me feel isolated and alone.
As I grew up, I mainly hung around other Asians because I could never feel like I was part of a pure American culture. It was only after I left the country and became an expatriate living in Japan that I could feel how American I am. Meeting other Americans abroad, we shared a common language, culture, and a belief that no matter how hard it was for me as a child, our country was one that was moving towards racial diversity, cultural diversity, and progressive ideas. I was and still am extremely proud of my country because of that.
Last week, in the election where Donald Trump prevailed, it wasn't /that/ country that elected him. That wasn't the country I was proud of, of promoting tolerance, understanding, and a melting pot of cultures. It wasn't the country that was welcoming to the immigrants that sought refuge from whatever problems they had, no matter what era it was. It wasn't the country that built itself into an economic powerhouse on the backs of the immigrants that created it. It's ironic that Donald Trump came from the same area that also houses the Statue of Liberty, the beacon of hope for migrants and refugees crossing the ocean, signaling they came to safe harbor. The country I believe in wasn't the one that elected Donald Trump.
FreakLabs is a company that values tolerance, diversity, community, and social activism. I, as a representative of FreakLabs, want to make a stand that this company does not support the values the incoming Trump administration represent. The US is fractured and divided, with a lot of fear mongering and charged racial messages. I don't particularly want to involve FreakLabs in politics, but if it came down to choose sides, FreakLabs stands on the side of love and inclusion.