Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu, along with civil rights activist Amanda Nguyen, recently appeared on MSNBC’s “American Voices” with Alicia Menendez to shed light on the rising violence against Asian Americans.
In the interview on Sunday, the MSNBC anchor discussed the recent attacks against Asian Americans that made headlines, including the death of an 84-year-old Thai American and the assault of a 91-year-old man in Oakland’s Chinatown.
“We put up the reward because we didn’t see enough action coming from the authorities to thwart these crimes from happening increasingly since the rise of Covid,” Wu said. “We decided that we needed to take action as leaders in our community to make a statement that we’re not going to take this anymore and we need to take action and rise up.”
Kim talked about how the elderly are severely affected by the recent rise of violent attacks on Asian Americans, giving several examples, including the assault on a 61-year-old Filipino man in New York.
“It’s been particularly difficult for our elderly community because not only are they affected by, you know, underlying conditions that would affect their health and make them scared to go out and interact with other people,” he said. “Now they are subject to being fearful to walk outside to be attacked.”
“I urge people to wake up and choose love. I know it sounds really corny but the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy,” Nguyen said. “Silence erases our humanity. It roars through the head of every Asian American as they step out the door and are afraid of getting slashed on the subway, burned alive on the street, or slaughtered by complete strangers. How many more people need to be killed in order for the media to think we are worthy of a story?”
Wu said the first step to being better is to show empathy and understanding that the Asian American community is under attack.
“That is the first step and then from there taking steps to help what’s happening to our community,” he said. “We are being attacked on all sides by all types of people and so we need to stop that as soon as possible. The first thing is to make sure that everyone recognizes that is happening.”
“We are crying out for help and we are crying out for people to lend a hand to help us with our plight,” he added.
While Nguyen commended President Joe Biden’s new memorandum that condemns anti-Asian attacks, she said she is fighting for more stories such as these to get covered by the media.
“Justice from the justice department is a start but there is also a long history in this country of otherling and erasing Asian Americans,” Nguyen said. “In the 1800s we built the railroads that connect America yet we were lynched in one of the largest lynching’s in U.S. history. In the 1900s we fought in World War II, yet we were rounded up like animals in internment camps. Obviously this past year thousands of hate crimes have happened. We, too, sing America. We were promised equality in this country and it is betrayal of the fundamental tenet of what it means to be American if people stay silent in the face of hate.”
Feature Image via MSNBC