Olympic halfpipe gold medalist Chloe Kim has spoken out about the rise of anti-Asian attacks and shared her personal experience since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, she posted a screenshot of a direct message by an Instagram user calling her a “dumb Asian b—-.”
Kim said that the message was among hundreds she has received since she was only 13 and won her first medal at the X Games.
It was “an accomplishment I was so proud of myself for, but instead I was getting bashed for being Asian,” Kim explained.
On Thursday, the first-generation Korean American spoke with ESPN about her experiences with racism.
“I was getting messages from people telling me I’m part of the problem because I was being silent. I was like, ‘Do you realize I’m also Asian American and this affects me?’ It was a lot of white people telling me they were upset at my silence,” she told the publication.
Kim said she wanted her post to raise awareness about the ongoing issues the AAPI community has been facing and to show her followers that she deals with discrimination too.
“I get hundreds of those kinds of messages monthly. I see maybe 30 a day,” she added.
Kim became emotional as she recalled her experiences when she was starting out.
“People belittled my accomplishment because I was Asian,” she said. “There were messages in my DMs telling me to go back to China and to stop taking medals away from the white American girls on the team. I was so proud of my accomplishment, but instead I was sobbing in bed next to my mom, asking her, ‘Why are people being so mean because I’m Asian?'”
Though Kim is fluent in Korean, she said that at one point, she would stop speaking the language in public out of embarrassment and shame.
“I was so ashamed and hated that I was Asian,” she said. “I’ve learned to get over that feeling, and now I am so proud.”
As for why she wasn’t able to speak up previously, Kim said that it was due to fear and not for lack of caring.
She’s received numerous hate messages over the years and has also been spit on, but she’s found it difficult to share those experiences with friends or family. In the past year since the beginning of the pandemic, Kim realized she could no longer keep silent following the rise in anti-Asian violence.
It has made her fear for her life and the lives of her loved ones. “I’m scared all the time,” Kim revealed.
In February, comedian David So took to Instagram in response to those criticizing Asian Americans that were not publicly speaking on these issues.
“If you’re Asian, and you have taken the time to attack your brothers and sisters for not speaking up, you’re actually trash too,” he said in the video. “Some people hurt and process things differently, and others need time. If you have enough time to yell at the people who are hurting just like you as a sign of activism, go f— yourself too.”
He reminded everyone to “use that time to spread awareness.”
Feature Image via Getty