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‘I Am Proud to Be Asian’: Sandra Oh Speaks at a Stop Asian Hate Protest

“I will challenge everyone here, if you see something, will you help me?"

sandra oh protest

Killing Eve star Sandra Oh made an impromptu appearance at a Stop Asian Hate protest yesterday in Oakland, PA. Oh delivered a passionate speech, where she called on people to stand up for their Asian communities. The rally was one of several protests which took place this weekend in response to the horrific Atlanta spa shootings which killed 8 people and wounded several more.

The shooting was the most violent example yet of the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, which spiked during the pandemic. These hate crimes were exacerbated by the racist rhetoric of Trump’s administration, and its scapegoating of “the China virus”. Of course, America has a long history of discrimination and violence towards the AAPI community.

Oh said to the crowd, “Thank you to all the organizers for organizing this just to give us an opportunity to be together and to stand together and to feel each other. For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger and I really am so grateful to everyone willing to listen.”

She continued, “I’m going to be very brief, but one thing that I know is many of us in our community are very scared, and I understand that. And one way to kind of go through and get through our fear is to reach out to our communities,” Oh said. “I will challenge everyone here, if you see something, will you help me? If you see one of our sisters or brothers in need, will you help us?”

Oh then led the crowd in a chant of, “I am proud to be Asian. I belong here,” adding, “Many of us don’t get a chance to be able to say that, so I just wanted to give us an opportunity to be able to shout that.”

Oh’s sentiments were shared by other Asian American actors, including Riverdale‘s Charles Melton, who penned an emotional essay in Variety.

Melton wrote, “With the continued rise in horrific hate crimes towards my community, I have been in deep introspection by recalling my own experiences, unpacking my past, and trying to understand it all. Through it, I’ve realized that I never stood up for my Korean heritage. I’ve willfully ignored the racism and microaggressions directed towards me and my people. I failed to defend my heritage in fear of retribution. And now I can’t help but wonder what I did to contribute to the violence against Asian Americans.”

Many more joined the call to address anti-Asian racism and violence:

(via Variety, featured image: screencap/CBS Pittsburgh)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.