Since the beginning of the pandemic, there's been a rise in racial discrimination especially targeting Asians. Since former President of the United States Donald Trump laid the blame for the virus on China, Asians in particular received a steady increase in racial slurs, threats of violence, physical and verbal assaults and hate crimes.
Over the last year, actor Daniel Dae Kim—best known for Lost and Hawaii Five-O—used his platform to speak out about the anti-Asian sentiment in the United States. He's spoken with news stations, talk shows and even Congress about the threat racism poses to his community.
A threat even his own parents feel as Kim relayed in the interview below.
In the interview with CNN, Kim said of his parents:
"They have been in their homes for a year for fear of getting [the virus]. And now there's hope for a vaccine and they're afraid of going outside because of the huge number of attacks on Asian-American and specifically the elderly."
Kim spoke shortly after an incident last month where a 91-year-old Asian man was assaulted in California. Much of the violence has been directed at elderly Asians.
These attacks have Kim speaking out and pleading for peace.
@Sollenbum @YouTube Terrible. Attacking Asians, or anyone, is wrong. There is enough to worry about without having to fear others. ❤️🌺🐾— Mr. Grey (@Mr. Grey) 1614286199.0
please spare some of your time to watch this. https://t.co/wz5n1bLhI3— vander. (@vander.) 1616069331.0
If you see something, please do something. #StopAsianHate (Never happier to be a long-time fan of Daniel Dae Kim.… https://t.co/rz23wuRDqH— Obvious to the most casual of observers (@Obvious to the most casual of observers) 1615997949.0
Weapon control must be implemented. Discriminations exist in every part of the World. Hurting and Killing another i… https://t.co/40EK3oCFrF— Sarah (@Sarah) 1616079034.0
Then things got worse.
Earlier this month, a shooter in Atlanta, Georgia killed eight people at three different massage parlors, six of whom were Asian women. Witnesses said the shooter targeted Asians.
Kim—who voiced a character in the new Disney film Raya and the Last Dragon—used his platform to speak on behalf of the community to Congress about the danger. He spoke before the House Judiciary committee about the acts of violence perpetrated against Asians over the last few years, including against his own sister.
"She was running in her own neighborhood when a man driving a car came up to her and yelled at her to get on the sidewalk when she was running on the shoulder."
"She said she would do that, and the man then backed up and hit her with the car. My sister turned around and was shocked, and told him that 'You just hit me.' He backed up the car, and as my sister was walking away, hit her again, knocking her to the ground."
The man was eventually caught, but the pain continued.
"This man had a history of violence toward other Asian women, but when it got time to prosecute him, the D.A. was telling my sister that 'We'll never get a hate crime. You should just hope for whatever you can get'."
"He ended up getting convicted of reckless driving when he used his car as a weapon to kill my sister, and there was no one in the system who was willing to help her shepherd this case to the appropriate justice."
I've seen people using their vehicles as weapons. In this story for anti-Asian violence, targeting a woman going fo… https://t.co/Z4BbHWHgbs— Kim-Lee Kho (@Kim-Lee Kho) 1616355971.0
@latimes https://t.co/qhATUphs5C— Bolay (@Bolay) 1616133159.0
Good for @danieldaekim! Using your platform to speak for those without a voice is admirable. 👏 #StopAsianHate https://t.co/CJErCWCAGW— LaPinetina1 (@LaPinetina1) 1616261700.0
The shooter who took the lives of Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; handyman Paul Michels, 54; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Daoyou Feng, 44 and injured bystander Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, claimed his act of violence was caused by sex addiction.
However, it's been pointed out he's shared racist memes online and his attack disproportionately affected older Asian women. The youngest woman he murdered was 33, the oldest was 74.
His victims left behind grieving spouses, children and grandchildren.