How do you fight hate? Well, first, you have to admit it exists.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Whether it's flags at half-staff, people rallying across the country (great photos), articles in newspapers, emotional reports from televisions journalists (or all of the above), we're now aware of the extent of hate crimes against Asians in America, although we may each have different perspectives …

Since childhood, Red has always been guided by her warm and fuzzy personality and her genuine inclination to be nice to people, not to mention her conflict avoidance tendencies. And even though we grew up in New York, we were still sheltered from people who were "different", which became more evident to Red when she went to school in "the South." Once she started traveling internationally, and then lived overseas in Europe and Southeast Asia, she learned about other cultures and people, developing a better understanding and respect for their beliefs.

Black, on the other hand, doesn't "do nice" and can be extremely blunt (she sometimes will disagree with someone just for the "sport" of it). She admits that she's opinionated about people, and can be impatient or intolerant. However, she'll quickly clarify that means individuals, not a race or group of people. Her reactions are always based on that specific person's words or actions, not on characteristics of their identity. That's why, to her, hate crimes are not only morally wrong, but illogical.

So, although we view hate crimes from different perspectives, we're both outraged and saddened to learn about hate crimes in America against Asian people, and think that President Biden said it best,

At this very moment, so many of them – our fellow Americans – they're on the frontlines of this pandemic, trying to save lives, and still, still, they're forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It's wrong, it's un-American, and it must stop.

It's hard not to have an opinion about this year's Olympics, but can we all agree that the athletes represent strength, perseverance, and hope?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: The Olympics is the world's largest sporting event, and although it seems that history occurs both on and off the "field", it's safe to say that the Olympics means very different things to different people (especially us).

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BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We grew up in the 1960s when space exploration was in its infancy and space travel was left to the imagination of television show and movie writers; but since one of us was a theater major and the other studied business, it's not surprising we had very different reactions to the recent flights.

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Coffee MAY reduce the risk of getting COVID-19, but masks, social distancing, and taking the vaccine WILL!

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Both of us are habitual coffee drinkers, so were curious about the potential benefits of our favorite beverage to lower the risk of contracting COVID-19, although our initial reactions to the study were (of course) very different.

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