A good friend sent me an email this morning expressing sincere and worrisome concern about the increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans since the pandemic set in. His note ended with the following question: “How do we get these people to change what’s in their hearts and minds?”

              I’ll give the readers of this column the same answer I sent to him.

              Back in 2005, my wife and I drove across North Dakota and Montana, our destination was Breezewood, MT where the CCC built a preserve for the White Pelican back in 1935.  The preserve is still there and so are the pelicans, nesting away.

              To get to Breezewood we drove the local state highway and passed through a dozen or so crummy, little farm towns that are in the process of fading away. For all the talk out there about how much money we waste on welfare, If it weren’t for the USDA Soil Bank program, the residents of these towns would have nothing to eat.

              It takes about two minutes to drive through these towns unless the town for some reason has an actual stop light which if you hit it red, adds another minute to how long it takes to enter and exit the town from end to end.

              The towns are roughly 20 miles apart, there’s a Walmart in every third town and a bank. All the other towns have a post office, a hardware chain store, a pizza takeout and a Chinese takeout or what we referred to in my New York neighborhood as a ‘Chinks.’

              Except none of the Chinese takeouts were preparing Chinese food. Here in the middle of the Great Plains, in the middle of the whitest and least diverse population zone in the entire United States, the Chinese takeouts were all calling themselves Asian Fusion or Thai.  This was 2005.

              When we got into Fargo, we stopped for a coffee break in front of a cute, little ‘gourmet’ bakery on a plaza facing the Red River, which runs through the middle of the town. What did the poster say that was hanging in the window of the bakery? Don’t miss the upcoming gay-rights parade.  In 2005. In Fargo, North Dakota, okay?

              The population living in the United States today is an increasingly diverse population, I don’t care if you define diversity in racial, ethnic, religious, linguistic or any other terms. I also don’t care if the percentage of White residents continues to decline, and I couldn’t care less when the percentage of Whites drops under 50%. 

              As far as I’m concerned, people should be able to live wherever they want to live without worrying about borders, without worrying about passports, without even worrying about speaking whatever language they want to speak. If they want to get educated, they have to learn English. If they don’t want to get educated, so they don’t get educated. Big deal.

              As for Americans who are so upset about the immigrants ‘flooding’ over the border, or the immigrants taking away all the jobs, or the immigrants getting on welfare, they can be as worried as they want, as long as they keep their mouths shut and don’t try to hurt someone else who’s not like them.

              I don’t want to do anything to change the hearts or minds of people who don’t seem to understand that we – all of us human beings – are completely equal in every respect. I just want such people to f*ck off and go about their business in a normal and proper way. And if they can’t do that, they can pick up and go live in some other country – they don’t have to live here.

              Want to know what we really need to do to protect everyone who is different from anyone else, whether the difference is gender, or race, or language, or religion, or whatever the difference happens to be?

              We can do for the 2022 election whatever we did to this year to send two Democratic Senators from Georgia to D.C. It’s as simple as that.