This past year has been hard on many people all over the world due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought out some of the best and the worst in humanity. The U.S. saw a glimpse of the worst March 16, when a 21-year-old man shot up three different massage parlors in Atlanta, killing eight people, including six Asian women.
There has been a steady increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans over the past year. Politicians referring to COVID-19 as the ‘China Virus,’ seemed to be one factor in the rising assault cases against Asian Americans. The Atlanta shooting was the latest incident and has rightfully caused outrage across the world. Celebrities, in particular, have since used their platform to spread #StopAsianHate on social media in an attempt to bring awareness to a growing problem in the United States.
Actor Daniel Dae Kim, known for his roles in the TV show “Lost,” and “Hawaii Five-O,” has continued to be a steady voice for the Asian community. Kim has been actively campaigning to members of Congress to vote for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the No Hate Act. In a video on News Now Fox, Kim pleaded to members of Congress to vote for the Acts that would help and benefit Asian Americans substantially.
“The No Hate Bill provides necessary grants and money to community organizations, counseling for those convicted of hate crimes and improved data collection for hate crime reporting,” Kim said in the video. “The committee also has before them the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Bill.. It’s crucial that we have reliable reporting for these hate crimes and an infrastructure that makes it easy for people whom English is not their primary language.”
Kim took the opportunity to also call out Congress for their lack of support in past bills that would have helped the Asian community sooner, and pleaded for change that would benefit future generations.
“I’m not naive enough to think that I’m going to convince all of you to stand up for us, trust me, I’ve seen your voting records. But I am speaking to those whom humanity still matters,” Kim said. “There are several moments in a country’s history that chart its course indelibly for the future. For Asian Americans, that moment is now. What happens right now and over the course of the coming months, will send a message for generations to come as to whether we matter.”
George Takei, Olivia Munn and Sandra Oh are just a few of the many Asian celebrities who have taken the time to denounce the hate crimes on Twitter.
Actor George Takei expressed his frustration with the hate crimes March 16.
“Call a hate crime what it is. And GOP leaders, stop fanning violence with anti-Asian rhetoric. You should be ashamed at what you have unleashed,” Takei tweeted.
According to an article in TeenVogue magazine, Sandra Oh, known for her role as Cristina Yang in “Grey’s Anatomy,” appeared at a Stop Asian Hate protest in Pittsburgh. At the protest, she made a passionate speech to the crowd to show her support.
“I understand that and one way to go through our fear is to reach out to our community,” Oh said at the rally. “I will challenge everyone here, if you see something, will you help me? If you see one of our sisters and brothers in need, will you help us? As Asian Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, ‘Help me and I’m here.’”
Celebrities like Kim and Oh who are willing to use their platform effectively are needed to help enact positive change in our country.
No matter what a person’s race is, everyone needs to unite against the racism that has been plaguing the United States. The pandemic did not bring hate, it helped awaken it, and now is the time to put it back to sleep for good.