Anti-Asian racism has grown rampant throughout the United States since 2020 due to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Various acts of violence, both verbal and physical, on the Asian population have been scattered in the news. One of the most shocking attacks has been the mass shooting in Atlanta massage parlors that killed eight, including six Asian women. This incident outraged the Asian-American community, including TCNJ junior Gabriella Son. A co-founder of the YCFL, Gabriella Son was sickened by the increase in anti-Asian racism in the country.
“As an Asian American, it just hurts when one of us dies. I don’t know how else to explain it — maybe I feel an interconnectedness with them, knowing we fight some of the same battles in America, because of the way we look. I couldn’t help but worry about my own family, knowing ‘it could have been us.’”
By Gabriella’s suggestion, the YCFL organized and led a “Stop Asian Hate” march in Fort Lee, NJ on March 27, 2021. In support of the Asian-American community, over 750 people attended the march, including the Mayor of Fort Lee Mark Sokolich.
“You are police officers, our Planning Board, you are our council members. You are the fabric of our community.”
Bergen County Executive James Tedesco noted the influx of anti-Asian attacks in the county, such as a Chinese restaurant in Wyckoff being sprayed painted with the words “Covid-19”. Tedesco rallied the crowd by stating, ““our county’s diversity is its greatest strength.”
YCFL was joined by other groups in the march, such as the Korean American Association of Fort Lee and the Fort Lee Chinese American Community Association.
“I hope they walked away with a sense of security and belonging,” Gabriella Son said. “From seeing the crowd of over 750 protestors, I hope they come to know that despite the ongoing hate crimes and discrimination, there is a community out there not just standing, but fighting with us.”
- ‘We’ve been waiting for this moment:’ Rally for Asian Americans in Fort Lee draws over 700
- TCNJ Junior Gabriella Son leads #StopAsianHate march in hometown
- Stop Asian Hate march draws hundreds to N.J. town in wake of Atlanta killings