Now You Know What It’s Like: S1E8 with Ron Rapatalo

Parental Discretion is Advised for this episode of the Bored of Ed. Ron Rapatalo speaks truth as he describes the current climate for Asian-American Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Ron was raised by two Filipino immigrants in NYC. He grew up in the “melting pot” American school books boast about. Today, he is a Principal at Edgility Consulting where his emphasis on genuine relationship-building is the foundation for his fight toward equity.

Ron discusses how he took his parents’ example and pursued relationships with all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or status. He sees anti-blackness and stands with his friends and neighbors while also acknowledging that as an AAPI man, he has the privilege to walk away and separate himself. Ron calls on all members of the AAPI to do the same.

Racism and inequity aren’t new. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified that truth in ways that can no longer be ignored. Anti-Asian violence has sky-rocketed with the spread of the virus. Ron boldly speaks out, “now we know what it’s like” and calls for change:

I think at the end of it all, if we don’t all roll in the same direction to dismantle racism, despite some of the tension, and the issues we all have to solve within our communities of color, it’s gonna be a real uphill battle.

Ron, Jonathan, and Doc dive deeper into white-priviledge in America. A sensitive topic to some, but a very necessary discussion in the pursuit of equity. Privilege is the freedom to turn off the television, log off of social media, and shut off all connection to the disparity, the discrimination, and the violence. Doc compels us to stop. Stop unplugging and start doing the difficult work necessary to build systems that embody unity, liberty and justice for all.

The term ‘well-intended white person’ means that you’re willing to do the work. You’re willing to recognize that, “oh, wait a minute, I did this thing. And it was not productive. It was not helpful for my friends of color, for communities of color, or our marginalized groups. And I’m willing to change, and respond and act”. I think the difference is ‘I’m willing to repost Black Lives Matter’. But if you’re saying, “well, then have a conversation with your dad”. Hmm. If we’re not willing to do that, then that’s privilege, right? That’s a form of privilege that you can leverage to start dismantling the system.

As you tune into this episode, think about your position. Consider who you are, what your privilege is, and how you can leverage your reality to breathe air into a more equitable future for all of our babies.

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