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U.S. gymnast and Olympic hopeful Morgan Hurd condemned racism while sharing her own experiences in an impassioned speech at a "Stop Asian Hate" rally in New York on Sunday.
Hurd, 19, a two-time World Championships gold medalist, was adopted from Wuzhou, China as an infant.
Since then, she has lived with her white mother in Delaware, where she said she first experienced racism as an elementary student.
Hurd claimed that classmates at Pike Creek Christian teased her for the shape of her eyes, told her to go back to China and asked if she ate dogs.
"'Ching Chong.' Getting called Ling Ling. Getting told to go back to China. The mimicking of our small eyes, which ironically, is now a trend. Getting asked if we ate dog. Getting told to take a joke," Hurd said at the rally, according to WDEL. "News flash: These aren’t jokes. They’re racist remarks."
The 19-year-old, who speaks on many social justice causes, took a jab at the recent surge in anti-Asian attacks. She said someone yelled at her for being Chinese just recently.
"I am disgusted that the people who claim to love the culture — anime, sushi, boba, matcha, fashion, etc. — don’t love or appreciate the people," Hurd continued. "You're going to blame an entire race for this virus? How can you even have the sense to do so, when so many of us were either born here, or have been here, and call this place our home."
She stressed that people should not point fingers at an entire race for COVID-19 "in place of the blame for the government’s inadequate and incompetent response."
Before the pandemic pause, Hurd won the American Cup in March 2020. Every female gymnast who managed to do so during an Olympic year qualified for the Olympic team, according to the Delaware News Journal.
Hurd will compete at the U.S. Classic in May, followed by the U.S. nationals and Olympic trials in June. By then, it will be known whether she realizes her dream.
"I am a U.S. national team member for gymnastics," the 19-year-old said. "I want to be part of the representation for our Asian youth. I want there to be people in all walks of life, in all professions, for our Asian youth to look to and see people that look just like them. It starts here, with all of us fighting, so that it is possible for them, so that they don't have to deal with this bullsh*t."
In her speech, Hurd also referenced an Instagram post from Yul Moldauer, a fellow U.S. gymnast.
Moldauer, who was adopted from South Korea, recently shared that a woman had told him to "go back to China" after a road conflict.
Featured Image via Morgan Hurd (@morgihurd)
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