As publications like CNN have noted, since then-President Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus last March as “the Chinese virus”, hatred towards the Asian community has intensified, with many Asian Americans expressing that they have been blamed for bringing Covid-19 to the US. People across the United States have since taken to rallies and marches of protest in an act of solidarity, condemning the attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders after the shooting rampage. From San Francisco to Pittsburgh, men, women and children marched and spoke out against the rise in hate crimes.
One such protester was Killing Eve actor Sandra Oh, who made an appearance at an Oakland Stop Asian Hate protest on Saturday where she gave a passionate speech and encouraged others to reach out to Asian American communities. In a speech that’s since gone viral, Oh said: “Thank you to all the organisers for organising this just to give us an opportunity to be together and to stand together and to feel each other.”
She added, “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.”
“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,” she 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?”
As the crowd of protesters applauded Oh’s words, a chant began to ring out, saying: “I am proud to be Asian. I belong here.”
Oh concluded by saying: “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.”