HIEA 114 Post 3 Mutual Aid Requires Mutual Understanding

Jiani Li
3 min readJun 2, 2020

PUBLISH A POST (in any genre: text, video, sound, image) reflecting on the forms of mutual aid that you have read about/thought about thus far in this course since your previous post. Discuss how one of these examples might be effectively adopted to alleviate the precarity that some communities are living through today. Share a link to your post on the slack channel. Search #HIEA114 on Medium and read a handful of posts by a few other folks in the class and add comments or annotations. Respond to comments from your classmates. Complete and publish by Sunday, May 31 at 11:59pm PST.

The death of George Floyd aggravated racial conflicts in the United States. These days, people have gathered together and protested the violence of police and the driscimination towards colored people. A large number of opportunists are mixed between protesters. They are looters who distract people from the fundamental claim of human equality. While protesters are fueled with anger and sadness, there are very diverse comments from my country targeting the riots in the U.S. I read a lot of comments which celebrated the news of riots, even hoped the situation could get worse due to recent tense sino-us relations. Some people also did not understand why a death of black guy could cause such a strong reaction from U.S citizens. Some people thought that those black looters gave us the reason to discriminate against them. Some people really understand what’s happening now and join the peaceful protesters. My point is that lack of compassion for human beings, lack of understanding of other cultures and history and different political positions are enough to split the people. We read some news and then post stupid and hurtful comments. Although a large part of people from my country do not understand what’s going on in the United States now, there are still some Asians supporting peaceful protesters. This is the mutual aid from the other vulnerable community.

While people in my country cannot understand the pursuit of equal human rights, numerous American citizens also cannot understand many regulations we took in order to combat covid-19. For example, “China essentially mandated a country-wide shutdown, demanding that every Chinese resident stay home until the curve was flattened” (https://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-coronavirus-quarantines-other-countries-arent-ready-2020-3#while-staying-home-its-been-relatively-easy-for-chinese-people-to-get-extra-food-and-supplies-9).

Many foreigners think that this regulation is “aggressive” and “violating basic human rights”. Also, this useful regulation which fights against covid-19 is almost impossible to be implemented in the United States. However, it worked in China. The main reason is that we were told that collective interests outweigh individual interests. We were also told that we need to obey the decision of the government. Therefore, some sacrifice of personal interests seems acceptable during a pandemic. I do not know whether it is worth it to be free while having the chance of getting caught by disease. Because in my opinion, I’d rather give up some freedom for safety.

In a nutshell, I believe that mutual aid requires mutual understanding and some compassion. Don’t be blinded by the news, occasionally we also need to look at the world from the perspective of each other.