Rest In Peace & Power, Christina. You were just like me and so many other Americans. You are all of us and we are you, now too often taken from this world simply because we look different. My empathy runs especially deep for you as our lives weren’t all that dissimilar.
My mother and I immigrated from China 16 years ago. Long enough. We settled and called this new land home. A place full of promise we thought, this country was friendly, safe, and free.
But last year, anti-Asian hate crimes increased 339% nationwide. They're now regularly making headlines in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities, as the frequency and disturbing nature gets worse. Last year, when my mother told me about a series of robberies outside the Asian market she frequents, I was worried, pissed, sad, and powerless. Why? Do we now need to constantly look over our shoulder every time we're in public?
This brought home a new sense of uncertainty, vulnerability, and reflection. Could I help others? How could women like my mother, myself, and every “Christina” be better prepared & protected from violence in the future?
When my partner and I first started developing the concept of the GetxGo Emergency Preparedness Kit, we immediately knew that our mission was to help urban folks (people like us) be prepared for unknowns, like everything thrust upon us in 2020. Upon studying the market, it was immediately obvious the majority of the emergency kits available had been designed somebody other than who we saw around us: hard-core survivalists, men aiming to survive in the woods, or the ex-soldier using battlefield knowledge. Huge combat backpack or bright red hyper-alarmist bag for your condo anyone?
Even before 2020, many female-led internet discussion threads were full of talk about a need for self-defense and emergency kits. Now, with ballooning of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic, plus a slip in general social stability, these conversations are everywhere. Women are concerned for their safety, particularly those in the minority or from marginalized communities. What can they do or purchase to make themselves feel safer in public?
We want to help. This year, in addition to improving our emergency kit offering, we will focus on ways to provide add personal safety elements to our products. Our customers are mostly women and we hear your concerns. We will be adding self defense resources, tools, and kits for you, me, us to be in a better place to avoid personal harm. Whatever happens, we need to be confident, proud, and live our lives to the fullest. Our best way to honor Christina and every other hate crime victim, is to not give in, continue striving, live the life they would want, and keep the faith that more good than bad exists in the world.
Be safe & prepared,
Shilu & Joe