How come it feels sometimes like “kindness” and “techno” are oxymorons? Why are techno fans are so unwelcoming at times? Why does it feel like you’re either a techno snob or not a techno fan at all? Why has social media become a hotbed for toxic conversations in the House + Techno community?
Think about the last time you did something nice for someone without expecting anything in return. Take it a step further, and look back at the last instance you really exerted kindness towards someone who wasn’t expecting it. What was their reaction? How did it make them feel? And in turn, how did it make you feel?
Hopefully, you didn’t have to look too far back to come up with the last time you were nice to someone. Hopefully being kind is second nature to you, an integral part of who you are as a person. But we know that this is not the case for everyone, likely not even for everyone reading this, which is strange, given all our readers are members of the House + Techno community. And we must never forget that our community was built out of the need for a safe space where everyone can co-exist and share their love for music, through love and kindness, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender and socio-economic status.
The recent Atlanta shooting that saw a man kill 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women, was one of the biggest conversations in the country last week. It was just the tip of a troubling, disgusting trend that clearly shows an increase of racial attacks on Asians and Asian-Americans as a result of the hateful rhetoric against these communities.
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Just be one!” – Marcus Aurelius
On social media we discussed this topic, not only because it is one that hits very close to home for us at 6AM, but because it’s a result of a general trend that we have been seeing for the past couple of years. It became clear from the comments on our various posts that not everyone shares the same views on this matter, and while divergence of opinion is fine and can be healthy, there comes a point where it’s troubling if it concerns real and important issues such as those of racism and hate.
So, why has racism towards Asians been so normalized?
Why do people still think it’s ok to denigrate the Asian community through speech, writing and harmful acts, often labeled as “harmless jokes”?
Xenophobia against Asians and Asian-Americans is being dismissed by authorities, mass media and civilians alike, birthing a racist climate that often leads to the attach and even murder of innocent individuals.
The 6AM and WORK team and our House + Techno community in Los Angeles includes many Asian and Asian-Americans, and we couldn’t be more proud to call them our brothers and sisters.
So why the hate?
The last year has been one of adversity and difficulty, and death. From George Floyd to Breonna Taylor and the much-needed conversation about equality that we are still needing to have, to all the lives lost to COVID-19, as well as the widespread economic and mental health devastation left behind as a result of the virus.
Unfortunately, we see a lot of selfish thinking and behavior take over in such moments. It’s easier to think of our problems, our issues and all the things we need to deal with than to think about others. While perhaps understandable at surface level, it is unity, kindness and altruism that remain our strongest weapons in getting through this difficult moment in our lives.
Our community, the House + Techno community, is much more than a collection of individuals. We are all connected, we are all valuable, and we are all the same, regardless of the small differences that do characterize our own personalities and lives.
“Whenever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness.” – Seneca
We cannot continue like this.
An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. That is what it means to be a community.
We owe it to each other, and to ourselves, to be involved with our community and to support and elevate one another, setting aside selfishness, stupidity and hate.
We owe it to each other, and to ourselves, to be kind, to be good, and to do good.
It is, after all, the very first principle of the Electronic Music Industry, and the very first principle of the 6AM House + Techno community.
I encourage you to think about others today and to open your heart and your mind to ways you can be kinder, more accepting, more loving and do more to help those around you.
Sometimes people see our Anti Techno Techno Club streetwear collection and scoff, confused or upset that we are “against techno.” Of course we are not, but I totally understand that it’s easy to not get the concept, so I wanted to take the time to explain it.
Over the years the techno community has become somewhat elitist, serious, unwelcoming and divisive and, truthfully, I have myself fallen into this trap, especially on social media. When we came up with the Anti Techno Techno Club spin-off, our idea was to take a stance against the stigmatic culture of techno that is sometimes negatively associated with our scene.
We wanted to send a clear message: in techno and with techno everyone is welcomed with kindness, no matter where they’re coming from and how they got here, both in music and in life.