Over a 100 people gathered on the Boston Common Monday to show support for the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community. The rally termed Stop The Hate was organized to come together and work to end discrimination that the Asian community has faced particularly during the recent months.
Several speakers from various AAPI community expressed their concern for the rising violence and pledged to stop the hate. “The reason we have all this racism and discrimination is people do not understand. We’re all a part of the American story,” said Wilson Lee, founder of the Chinese American Heritage Foundation.
Boston Mayor Kim Janey was one of several people who spoke to the crowd. She said it’s concerning that there’s been a rise in violence against Asian Americans recently, but she said, unfortunately, it’s nothing new.
“From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the internment of Japanese Americans to the sexualization of Asian women in our culture, this latest surge is part of a long dark history,” Mayor Janey said.
At the event, George He, founder member of National Asian American Coalition introduced the StandWithIndia campaign that is working with organizations to provide Covid Relief for India. “We come together to show support to each other and help all that are suffering” said He. He asked for people to show love and donate to the StandWithIndia campaign. “Rural India is really suffering” said Ranjani Saigal who is the Executive Director of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA that is working to bring Covid relief to over 100,000 very remote rural villages. She talked about the needs in Rural India where there is a severe lack of health services. Syed Ali Rizvi, Town Member from Lexington offered his homage to war heroes who serve selflessly for the safety of the nation. He also urged everyone to support rural India in its time of need.
The AAPI rally was one of 21 rallies across the country to call out Asian hate. Organizers also handed out yellow whistles that say ‘We Belong’ to the crowd. “This rally today, and the rallies in the other 20 cities, is our closing argument that we belong, that we are as American as anyone else, we love our country, we serve and we have members who die for our country,” Lee said.
The event also featured music by young asian children who sang their original composition. The event was filled with positive energy and brought great hope to the attendees that we can visualize a brighter future and stop the hate.