Dozens gather at the Capitol for anti-Asian hate march
Peaceful protesters gathered in front of the state Capitol and took to the streets of Lincoln to march in response to the increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Saturday, peaceful protesters gathered in front of the state Capitol and took to the streets of Lincoln to march in response to the increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans over the past year.
“I actually, obviously saw all the Asian hate crimes on the news and that really caused me to just take a mirror to my life and just see the reflection of my own family and my own friends,” protest organizer Diane Choi said. “I just really want to make a difference in my community and really step out and voice the struggles of the racism that we’ve dealt with for so long.”
Choi raised awareness about the #STOPASIANHATE protest on Facebook. More than 100 people were in attendance. Asian–Americans at the protest reflected on their own experiences with racism.
“I have been getting racism since the coronavirus started,” protester Gracie Crusinberry said.
Crusinberry says she noticed an increase in anti-Asian sentiment shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States last year.
“When this first started, I’m like, ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why?'” she said.
Protesters say the best things people can do to combat Asian hate is reject negative stereotypes, including the model minority myth, listen and have empathy for victims.
“My message to those people is honestly to just really open your hearts because the only way that you will ever get a glimpse of understanding of what these people go through is just listening to what they have to say,” Choi said.
While acknowledging there is a long way to go, Choi says she was inspired by the response of the Lincoln community.
“We are a smaller community here in Lincoln and to really see people come out here and try to amplify the Asian voices that have been underrepresented for so long is extremely touching and is the biggest motivator for why I even hosted this in the first place, she said.”