Rally Against Asian Hate
Multiple organizations gathered this morning at the Free Speech Pavilion in Downtown Naperville for the DuPage Rally Against Asian Hate.
The rally was meant to show the groups coming together to stand in solidarity and remembrance of the victims of the shootings in Atlanta. On March 16, a man killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three Atlanta-area spas.
“After watching the murder of six Asian women and the loss of two others, it left a hole in my heart. It left a hole in my heart to see these women be killed. But the response afterwards was even worse,” said Jennifer Chan from Stop Asian Hate Chicago. “To watch these women be shamed, to see them all accused of being sex workers, to watch this be the result of someone’s bad day. Those words cut so deep in my heart because right now in my community there’s so much fear.”
Bing Chang from the Ray Chinese School in Lisle spoke about the fears the Asian community feels, including children.
“They have been saying ‘we are Asians, we were born here. We’re Americans, there’s nothing wrong with us. We didn’t do anything wrong,'” said Chang. “Some children are scared to go back to school, they don’t want to be Asians.”
Jen Zhang from the Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago has a request for local lawmakers.
“On behalf of the Chinese American community, we have requested for the state representatives to pass a resolution to condemn any racism behavior against Asian Americans,” said Zhang. “We’re also asking for the state to pass a law to educate Asian American history in the school system. So we want everybody to work together to fight against Asian hate.”
Work on a Resolution
Sara Sadat, a Village of Lisle board of trustee who is running for mayor in Lisle, said for the past six months she’s been working on a resolution with DuPage County Board members “to address and acknowledge the fact that hate exists.”
At the rally she said, “I just want to remind everyone, words have consequences. These words that have been spewed to mark the hatred, to marginalize individuals, to speak to the differences that each one of us have in our communities. These words matter. These words are the ones that beget hatred, the hatred then begets violence.”
In an email she said, “We also want the resolution to have acknowledgement of hate and hateful actions and the denouncing of racism, hateful words inciting violence, anti-police rhetoric, and a responsibility of locally elected officials to be sanctioned for their misconducts.”
A total of eight speakers were at the rally, including Regina Brent and Paul Scott from Unity Partnership, Tio Hardiman from Violence Interrupters in Chicago, and Theodia Gillespie from Quad County Urban League.
The group read out the names of all those who died in the Atlanta shooting and took a moment of silence.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.