We began sharing our year in review videos (yes, a family tradition started in the last year). Chris and I shared ours through an unlisted youtube link. Most people shared it through AirPlay, because that’s the type of people most people are.
But then I noticed my uncle’s first page of apps. The usual suspects—email, maps, phone, etc. But I vividly remember one app right in the first position of the third row. Fox News.
Two years ago, at Thanksgiving, I launched into a debate about Colin Kapernick with him. He had triggered my tirade with “shouldn’t people listen to their employers?” in reference to the NFL and kneeling.
Which as a very older millennial, I completely disagree with. I don’t listen to my employers when I disagree with them at a fundamental level. Yes, this might be a moment I might in this age, I would say “OK BOOMER”.
Everyone at this point must know that I don’t take jokes well. Because I sense the truth underlying them and I need to get to the belief of the joke. Sometimes I realize that it’s to my detriment because maybe that person doesn’t want to or not ready to reveal their true feelings at that moment.
I knew that he and my aunt might not have voted in the 2016 election. My dad said something to that effect. It surprised me, because beyond their very Christian values, I didn’t really know their political position. They had moved from outside Chicago to the San Francisco Bay Area. Very willingly despite the uptick in the cost of living. I had always thought of them as yes very Christian, but also very agreeable and very assimilated to American society as they both owned a sports memorabilia gift boutique shop for many years. They were people who were naturally part of the community.
And so there it was. The Fox News app. I thought about the notifications that it sends with updates and headlines that linger and catch the mind as it scrolls by. I thought about the trigger to download that app over any other like the thoughts of “I trust them more than other news app” or “I need to stay informed”.
I didn’t anything to latch onto in that moment. Nor was it my prerogative to start a debate. So I saw it and later whispered to Chris about what I saw.
Later, as we drove out of the senior community, I looked to see if there were showtimes for Parasite, the korean movie at the nearby movie theater. Of course, it wasn’t. It was full of more mainstream movies—Frozen 2, Ford vs. Ferrari, Knives Up…
I wondered what kind of environment my aunt and uncle live in out here in a city that people in San Francisco wouldn’t even recognize as the Bay Area. My aunt and uncle are Asians who arrived in the United States in their mid 20s—coming from Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively, lived in the midwest for most of their lives, living a very middle class existence running a small business, adhering to very Christian values. They would be okay with certain people, the whiteness, the people who have enabled them to live well in the midwest. They oddly have built a wall for themselves to learn so the desire to be the identity that I would have built for myself is totally foreign. They don’t need it. They’re already happy where they are.