Demonstration Opposing Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Planned For Friday In Downtown Tulsa
With anti-Asian hate crimes continuing to rise nationally -- and in the shadow of Tuesday's mass shooting at Atlanta-area Asian-owned spas -- Tulsa organizers are planning a rally to stand against hate and in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Organizer Jade Nguyen, a 20-year-old education major at the University of Tulsa, said she hadn't considered planning a rally or demonstration until recently, when she saw a video of an attack on an elderly Asian woman in the news.
"It just sort of put me in shock, in a way, because I never thought something would happen to someone who looks so much like my parents or my grandparents," Nguyen said.
Nguyen said while she and her family have not been targeted with any physical violence, and she isn't aware of any attacks in Tulsa, she has experienced verbal harassment.
"I'm really grateful for no physical violence for me and my family, but, then again, it does simply start with a crude joke and can easily landslide into violence, like what happened in Georgia," Nguyen said.
On a Facebook page for the rally, Nguyen and co-organizer Dieric Lai write: "This year has seen a rise in violence against Asian Americans. We want to show that we stand with and support this community, and bring awareness to what's happening."
The demonstration is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Friday at the Center of the Universe. Attendees are encouraged to bring signs, water and snacks, as well as to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Experts say the true number of attacks against Asians and Asian Americans in the U.S. is likely higher than what has been officially reported, and that former President Donald Trump's racist rhetoric played a role in the increase over the last year.