Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been shocked by the quantity of racist political language geared toward Asian-Americans and the spike in hate crimes in opposition to the group. As a white particular person, I really feel ashamed that I didn’t give attention to this drawback sooner. During this era, I’ve typically thought of a Korean-American lady I labored with a number of years in the past. We grew shut and moved our friendship past the workplace (dinners with our companions and theater evenings, and so forth.). I’d wish to examine in together with her now and categorical my help over current occasions. But it’s been a number of years since we’ve been in contact, and one thing is holding me again. What do you suppose?
I don’t need to sound harsh right here. Your coronary heart is in the precise place, and expressions of help can typically carry consolation to those that are struggling. But if you happen to haven’t been in contact along with your pal in years, contacting her now could seem extra like racial profiling to her — “Hey, I know an Asian-American!” — than private help.
Calling or writing out of the blue may additionally be burdensome to her now. Last summer season, throughout the Black Lives Matter protests, I heard from a number of Black readers that the quantity of well-meaning overtures they acquired from white folks they hadn’t spoken to in ages felt overwhelming at a time once they had been traumatized and exhausted.
Now, this isn’t an argument in opposition to rekindling outdated friendships. Just do it when the impulse is centered in your pal (or your shared historical past), not present occasions. In the meantime, give attention to actions you possibly can take to assist the Asian-American group, like educating your self concerning the historical past and present circumstances of violence and racism, volunteering, supporting native companies, or donating to anti-violence organizations. “Thoughts and prayers” are nice, however there’s laborious work to be performed, too.
Did You Miss the Sign?
There is a lady in our neighborhood who nonetheless seems on the grocery store and put up workplace with no masks. (Of course, each locations have massive “Masks Required” indicators.) When confronted, she is going to say, “I can’t wear one,” however she received’t say why. There is a Tea Party flag flying at her home, so it appears extra probably that her anti-masking is tied to politics than well being. What might I say to her? I don’t need to begin a combat.
Oh, I believe you’ve combined emotions about beginning a combat. And your argument for her motivation is flimsy. Still, I acknowledge that medical reasons for not wearing masks are rare; asserting a ‘freedom’ — to go maskless — on the expense of public well being is indefensible; and an infection with the extra transmissible coronavirus variants is a robust argument for staying masked in public.
By now, although, this lady’s place on masks might be hard-boiled. And as an acquaintance, you’re unlikely to vary her thoughts or conduct. Why not give attention to defending others in your group by advising them to double up on masks? That could also be more practical than sparring along with your unmasked neighbor.
Not Pointing Fingers, however …
For a couple of 12 months, I’ve employed a housekeeper who’s splendid in almost each manner. She does an amazing job cleansing, and he or she is heat and type. Unfortunately, some not insignificant gadgets have disappeared from our house over the previous few months: some very outdated ivory collectible figurines which have nice sentimental worth for my husband and, presumably, some wonderful jewellery. How ought to I deal with this?
The flashing crimson gentle in your query is the phrase “possibly” within the next-to-last sentence. If you possibly can’t say with certainty the final time and place you noticed these objects, go sluggish right here! Is your housekeeper the one different particular person with entry to your house? Were the collectible figurines on show till they disappeared?
Only you possibly can assess your stage of certainty. In my expertise, although, my reminiscence of the place I’ve put issues has failed me extra typically than anybody I’ve employed. Why not begin by asking your housekeeper that will help you search for the lacking gadgets? If they don’t flip up and also you’re nonetheless uncomfortable, you’re free to fireplace her. But with out larger confidence, don’t say a phrase about theft.
Throw Away Your Dog Poop. Just Not Here.
I satisfaction myself on being a accountable canine proprietor. Not solely do I choose up my canine’s poop, I additionally choose up litter alongside the road. I throw it into rubbish cans each private and non-private. Recently, I noticed a put up on a neighborhood message board lamenting the truth that individuals are dumping canine poop within the poster’s rubbish can whereas it’s on the curb on rubbish pickup day. He wrote: “Am I supposed to let it stink up my garage for a week? Don’t do this!” Am I fallacious to make use of no matter bins I see?
Of course you’re fallacious! A house owner’s non-public rubbish can just isn’t for public use even when it’s on the curb on trash assortment day. And the message board put up is persuasive in its reasoning: Would you need canine poop moldering in your storage till the next week’s trash pickup? Use your metropolis’s public receptacles as a substitute.
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