I start this open letter to my central Ohio community who embraced me more than 20 years ago to report the news. You welcomed me into your homes to offer you comfort, information, entertainment, education, laughter and love. Now I come to you to offer you some insight into my life.
I am a first-generation American, proud daughter of two Chinese immigrants who taught me to work hard, to respect people and to be humble and kind. Growing up and even into my adult years, I often brushed off racist remarks to “stir the pot” or bring more attention to myself, as I and other Asian Americans often do. This was the Asian way.
But history cannot be repeated. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was the first federal law to prohibit the immigration of a specific race of people. World War II brought the internment camps of Japanese Americans. In 1982, the two murderers of Vincent Chin received probation and fines. Despite these acts of injustice, we see history repeat itself in action and words.
#StopAsianHate is the latest in a long line of hashtags and causes to capture international headlines. Much like #BLM, #metoo and #enough. And regardless of race, creed or color, this is the time for all people of conscience to stand up and speak out.