• Home
  • Posts
  • Must Read
  • A Call to Stop Hate: Asian Americans & Allies Held Vigil Demanding an End to Violence & Racism

A Call to Stop Hate: Asian Americans & Allies Held Vigil Demanding an End to Violence & Racism

| lafocus | , , , , | 1 Comment

By Stephen Oduntan

A Black Lives Matter – South Pasadena activist came together with the San Gabriel Valley community to hold a “Stop Asian Hate” candlelight vigil on Saturday evening and called for the ongoing attacks on Asian Americans to stop.

The vigil was held at Almansor Park in Alhambra, four days after a lone gunman went on a shooting spree at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.

“Many of my days are extremely full,” Fahren James, the South Pasadena Black Lives Matter activist, told the hundreds of people gathered to honor the shooting victims. “But it is important I came here today to stand in solidarity with the AAPI (Asian-American Pacific Islander) community, who are some of my closest supporters.”

She did not mince words and spent a considerable amount of time highlighting the tense relationship between Blacks and Asians in America, saying to the crowd of masked people – primarily Asian – that now was the time to work together instead of perpetuating negative stereotypes.

“There’s no way,” she reiterated. “I would miss coming here to stand in solidarity with you even though my overwhelming experience in the [Asian-American] community has not been great. But I came here today dressed in a hoodie and chucks on my feet to show you that I am human and care about everybody. The Black Lives movement is not just about Black lives because what we’re asking for is going to help every one of us.”

Betty Hang, the event’s organizer, told L.A. Focus that Asian-American hate crimes had ignited a sense of deep urgency among protesters.

“I was impatient,” she said. “I want this to happen now. I didn’t want to wait for someone to organize an event. We need a sense of community where we feel validated and are here for each other. Having people from the community speak gives us a space to heal.”

Like many Asian-Americans, she is still reeling from the Atlanta mass shooting. The suspect, identified as Robert Aaron Long, faces multiple counts of murder and aggravated assault.

“I think I’m talking for a lot of people when I say we were traumatized learning about the shooting. It’s something we’re going to continue to process over time,” Hang said.

According to several recent studies, since the coronavirus pandemic started a year ago, hate crimes against Asian-Americans in major U.S. cities surged by nearly 150 percent.

But the group Stop AAPI Hate also notes that anti-Asian attacks are likely higher than official hate crime data collected, given several incidents often go unreported – possibly due to language barriers, especially among Asian immigrants and elders.

Attendees at Saturday’s rally held lit candles and signs reading “stop Asian hate.”

Jireh Deng, a student at Cal State Long Beach, said she was frustrated the media hadn’t been more proactive in covering the social crises last summer as a teachable moment to discuss anti-Black racism.

“As someone who is a student journalist, I need to ask the media where were you when we had Black Lives Matter protests?” asked Deng. “Why is it that you only show up to these types of events? Why do we have stereotypes that label certain communities as more dangerous when they show up to combat racism?”

Deng underscored that dismantling “white supremacy” would require connecting the Asian community’s struggles to those of the African-Americans who’ve had a long history of protesting against racial injustice.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, Connie Chung Joe, also addressed the crowd and urged them to increase awareness of hate crime incidents, reassuring people that her organization offers legal services to the Asian community.

She called for a collective effort to end anti-Asian hate and violence.

“The fact is,” she said. “Violence against Asians isn’t going to stop if only Asian’s care about it. Because we learned through Black Lives Matter that had Black people only cared about Black violence, we’ll never address anti-Blackness in this country. We need solidarity and allyship.”


Comment

  • I wished to say that it’s wonderful to know that somebody else also pointed out this as I had trouble finding the same info somewhere else. This was the first place that told me the answer. Appreciate it. My kindest regards.

Comments are closed.


More Coverage

California Senate Gets Second Chance to Pass Prison Slavery Bill This Week

Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌ ‌|‌ ‌California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media‌ On June 23, the California Senate rejected a constitutional…

Generation Z Sparking the ‘Great Resignation’ as Employers Realize Shortages

Stacy M. Brown/ NNPA Newswire The pandemic has spurred the Great Resignation phenomenon, and it is still on. Many wor…

South L.A. Church Blesses City With $20,000 in Free Gasoline

As gas prices continue to surge in California—surpassing even the federal minimum wage of $7.25 at some Los Angeles g…

Hundreds of Compton Residents Chosen for Guaranteed Income Program

Dianne Lugo Compton has joined in participating in a successful program to grant some of its residents a guaranteed i…

Pastor Tyron Robinson Named to Succeed Bishop Paul Morton

Staff Last year, nationally renowned pastor and gospel singer Bishop Paul S. Morton announced he would step down as s…

New Fund Will Grant $10,000 to Struggling Local Business Owners

Staff More relief for local Los Angeles small business owners is on the way. A new fund, the LA Regional COVID Fund, …

Probe Into Prison Deaths Ends Up Uncovering $8 Billion in Untracked State Money

Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media What started out as an investigation into inmate deaths in some of Calif…

Despite Massively Successful Fundraising Efforts, Community Group Fails to Purchase Crenshaw Mall

Dianne Lugo The saga of the historic Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza ownership continues with local Black community orga…

Latest Politics

Faith Community Celebrates Famed Preacher Manuel Scott Jr.’s 40 Years of Evangelism

Bill Cosby Ordered to Pay $500K To Woman He Assaulted in 1975

The Lookout: Four California Criminal Justice Reform Laws That Took Effect This Year

Bill That Would Allow Calif. Parents to Sue Social Media Companies Moves Forward

Pres. Biden, V.P. Harris Praise Rep. Bass for Leadership on George Floyd Policing Act


© Copyright 2021 - LA Focus Newspaper