Equipped with signs and a desire to spark change, speakers at the 'Vigil for Victims of Asian Hate Crimes' in Conshohocken on Sunday recounted their own stories of hate and harassment.
SARAH BLOOMQUIST: And now a call to action against racism today.
WALTER PEREZ: That's right. A vigil was held this afternoon in Montgomery County in response to the rising violence against Asian-Americans. It's one of many being held all across the country in a show of support for the community standing against hatred.
SARAH BLOOMQUIST: Action News reporter Jaclyn Lee is live in Conshohocken, where that vigil just wrapped up. Jaclyn.
JACLYN LEE: Well Sarah and Walter, there were more than 200 people in the park behind me-- people from all walks of life, all races. And the whole point of this event was to show that Asian-Americans are under attack and we need help from everybody.
Equipped with signs and a desire to spark change, speakers at the vigil for victims of Asian hate crimes recounted their own stories of hate and harassment.
- I brushed off comments made towards me, especially the ones that made fun of my eyes, the food that I ate.
JACLYN LEE: The event was prompted by the wave of unprovoked violence against Asian-American elders and the recent Atlanta shooting that left eight people dead, six of them Asian women, despite the Cherokee County Sheriff's spokesman stating the suspect, quote, "had a bad day" and the motive was a sex addiction. Advocates say that exemplifies the problem.
DANIELLE KWOCK PHILLIPS: Once again, it's the erasure of being Asian. As if you can just say six women and you can omit the Asian part. As if we're nobody and count for nothing. I mean, I would say that that is absolutely ridiculous. I saw a tweet that said if somebody went to three donut shops and only killed cops, would you say he had a sugar addiction?
JACLYN LEE: Many attendees and speakers said they wanted to break stereotypes, show that Asian women are not submissive or sex objects without any worth.
JULIA PARK: I wanted to show our local Asian-American Pacific Islander community that other people care. That they see us. I wanted them to see in a tangible way that they matter to others.
JACLYN LEE: Peyton Turner says she wants to show that the wave of violence and harassment is not just an Asian issue, but something that affects everyone.
PEYTON TURNER: Well, I think it's really important that we have POC solidarity. And I think it's very important that we speak out about any type of injustices against any type of people, and specifically Asians.
JACLYN LEE: And advocates and attendees wanted to highlight the issue that many Asians are seen as not a minority because they're not black and they're not white. And that often, their issues are swept under the rug. And they also wanted to illustrate that there is a long history of violence and discrimination. Live in Conshohocken, Jaclyn Lee, Channel 6 Action News. Back to you.
SARAH BLOOMQUIST: All right, Jaclyn. Thank you.