Koreatown Rally Against Anti-Asian Violence

April 2021

“Stop Asian Hate!” my 79-year-old mother, Sally Hong, chanted as she punched the air with her first.   On Saturday, March 27, 2021, I, along with several of my friends, family, and supporters of The KW Lee Center for Leadership, attended a rally and march in Koreatown to protest anti-Asian violence. 

At the march, I saw hundreds of people from all different racial and ethnic backgrounds, of all different ages.  Parents brought their kids in strollers, which bore signs like “No More Silent Minority.”

While there have been over 3,800 attacks against Asians over the past year, anti-Asian hate, racism, and violence are deeply imbedded in our country’s history, even before the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.  A century later, the Asian American community was galvanized by the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese American beaten to death in Detroit by two white men who racially profiled him during a time when Japanese cars were seen as “threats” to the US auto industry. More recently, it was the mass murder of six Asian American women in the Atlanta area, gunned down by a white man in a horrific act of racialized misogyny, and a brutal attack of a 65-year-old Filipina woman who was kicked in the stomach and had her head stomped as security guards watched and failed to intervene. 

Sometimes I question how effective it is to issue statements, to attend rallies and to post on social media, when the racism and scapegoating underlying the recent hate crimes run so deep in our nation’s history and are continuing to leave fresh scars.  But, it’s better than staying silent.  It’s better than sitting at home, feeling helpless.  And I got a chance to fist pump with my mom for a unifying cause.