BOSTON — More than 100 people gathered on the Boston Common Monday to show support for the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community.
“The reason we have all this racism and discrimination is people do not understand. We’re all a part of the American story,” said Wilson Lee, founder of the Chinese American Heritage Foundation.
Boston Mayor Kim Janey was one of several people who spoke to the crowd. She said it’s concerning that there’s been a rise in violence against Asian Americans recently, but she said, unfortunately, it’s nothing new.
“From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the internment of Japanese Americans to the sexualization of Asian women in our culture, this latest surge is part of a long dark history,” Mayor Janey said.
That’s why groups like the Chinese American Heritage Foundation organized this National Day of Solidarity. It was one of 21 rallies across the country to call out Asian hate. Organizers also handed out yellow whistles that say ‘We Belong’ to the crowd.
“We’re giving this out to all the seniors because I think they’re the ones most vulnerable,” said Dr. Hua Wang, co-chair of the New England Chinese American Alliance.
Dr. Wang said the Asian community is still on edge after recent attacks, so the yellow whistles are part of a national movement to show Asian pride but also protection against any violence.
“Because yellow has been weaponized, you know, against AAPI people, now we say just like Black is beautiful, brown is beautiful, yellow is beautiful,” Dr. Wang said.
“This rally today, and the rallies in the other 20 cities, is our closing argument that we belong, that we are as American as anyone else, we love our country, we serve and we have members who die for our country,” Lee said.
Along with handing out whistles, the rally was also selling t-shirts to support the Asian community. The organizer said that money raised will go to help India with the COVID-19 crisis.
©2021 Cox Media Group