LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Members of the Asian-American community across the world are feeling somewhat less-than-human. And that’s not an exaggeration.
“We want to get together to show that we are human. That we belong in the community,” said Dr. Tracy Lu, a faculty member of the University of Kentucky’s School of Agriculture.
Lu spoke before Wednesday’s rally on campus, where Asian-American community members gathered in a show of solidarity in response to the uptick in hate crimes they’ve experienced as a result of misplaced anger over the coronavirus spread.
“Maybe people heard about the 'China virus,' or that term,” Lu said when referencing the slang title some attached to the virus, including former President, Donald Trump.
“There were more than 3,800 hate crimes against Asian-Americans in just the last year, so you’re right, this is a tipping point. But it’s been going on for a long time,” said Dr. Rong Wang, of UK’s College of Communication and Information.
Wang emceed the Wednesday event, which featured several speakers from the university, including Provost Dr. David Blackwell. Blackwell told the group that having Asian-Americans in our communities makes us better, and makes us stronger. His comments drew one of the louder ovations of the day.
Toward the end of the presentations, the names of each of the shooting victims in Atlanta were read and repeated by the crowd.
“This is not the moment to not show our vulnerability, I guess,” said Wang. “We’re strong, but we want to show our vulnerability so we can actually be stronger together.”
They were roughly 200-strong during Wednesday’s Asian American Pacific Islander rally against hate crime.