Reflections on compassion, unconditional love and acceptance

Many of us have seen a video of a woman in her SUV swear at Mr. Ahn, a Korean American veteran, for driving too slow on our Fremont streets, mocking him by making slant eyes and saying “Chinese is ugly.”

This video is going viral and I saw it again on KRON TV this morning.

Clearly, Mr. Ahn was the victim of this person who is hate filled and racist.

Her behavior must be condemned and is unacceptable.

Many of us have seen a video of a woman in her SUV swear at Mr. Ahn, a Korean American veteran, for driving too slow on our Fremont streets, mocking him by making slant eyes and saying “Chinese is ugly.”

This video is going viral and I saw it again on KRON TV this morning.

Clearly, Mr. Ahn was the victim of this person who is hate filled and racist.

Her behavior must be condemned and is unacceptable.

At the same time, this tragedy may be a teaching opportunity for her and for us. How do we react? In anger? With a desire to shame her? To yell at her for being a racist?

Would this change her attitudes or behavior?

How about instead inviting her to sit down with Mr. Ahn - with his willing consent - over coffee out of public view and out of earshot from the rants of an enraged crowd, however righteous?

Mr. Ahn could tell his story as an American citizen and veteran. He could show her pictures of his family and share the dreams he has for himself and his family.

In short, the best “revenge” would be for her to be required to face his humanity.

And this encounter maybe - just maybe - could begin the process of changing her heart and mind, by compelling her to see their shared humanity.

Yes, we would be deprived of the satisfaction of shouting invectives at her, yet maybe - just maybe - this tragic moment can transform our own hearts.

All of us need to learn how to free ourselves from all forms of hate and discrimination and the impulse to shame and humiliate each other.

Fremont officially is a Compassionate City.

Let us - as the Buddhists say - transform arrows into flowers.

Let us infuse our community with the compassion, unconditional love and acceptance (regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or national origin) we want to see in and from each other.

Fremont Stands United Against Hate

Please join me in taking a stand against hate in our community. You can show your support by displaying a sign at your home or business. Feel free to stop by my office to pick up a sign (3900 Newpark Mall Rd., Third Floor). Together, we can make Fremont a supportive and welcoming community for all!

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