Speakers Share Experiences of Bias, Express Determination to Overcome Hate
A student leaves a votive candle last night under a photo of one of the Asian Americans killed in the March 16 mass shooting at Atlanta-area spas. About 200 people attended the vigil on the steps in front of McKeldin Library.
Asian and Asian American Terps spoke through tears last night to express anger and grief at the loss of eight lives in last week’s Atlanta shootings and a culture that has oppressed them through racism and sexism.
But speakers at the candlelight vigil on McKeldin Mall also expressed pride in their heritages and their own families, along with their commitment to combat hate and demand change.
The student-organized event repeatedly reminded mourners—both in person and watching virtually—of the names and stories of the victims of the March 16 mass shooting, whose images each looked back at them from easels: Daoyou Feng, Hyun J. Kim, Sun C. Kim, Paul Andre Michels, Soon C. Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun and Yong A. Yue. Six were women of Asian descent.
The members of Maryland’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community shared their experiences with offensive stereotypes, fears for their safety and that of their loved ones, and calls for more support on campus and beyond. All was with the wish that, as Dominic Escobal, president of the Filipino Cultural Association, said, “We should never have to be here like this again.”
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