The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reports a 145% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in America’s biggest cities from 2019 to 2020. This weekend in Salt Lake City, people came together to protest these crimes.
Jonathan Nguyen was one of many people who came in honor of someone who could not attend the demonstration. He carried a sign that read “Respect My Elders.”
“There's a lot of elderly Asian people that are being assaulted, unprovoked attacks, and honestly, like, it makes me so mad makes me so pissed that like, I'm scared for my mom, my dad and my grandma, anyone for my family,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen said personally, there are many microaggressions he experiences.
“Everyone's always telling me like backhanded compliments and stuff saying like, 'Oh, dude, like, you're so cool for being Asians.' Like, you know, like, well, thanks for calling me cool for me a human," Nguyen said.
Shi Onyeaboy-udh came to this event with a group of his friends as allies for the movement. He held a signthat read ‘We are Stronger Together’ as a way to show he supports the ‘Asian Lives Matter’ movement.
“I kind of relate back when Black Lives Matter was kind of being a thing where I kind of felt I was alone," he said. "But then, as people were getting together and voicing their opinions, I felt strongly that I also needed to join in the fight as well. And seeing how Asian hate started to rise, I wanted to make sure that I was an ally for them as well”
Serena Aeschilman, one of the event’s organizers, was excited to see the diversity of people at the event.
“I was surprised, I kind of thought that it would be primarily Asians and white people; I don't know how to better phrase that," Aeschilman said. "But we had some people from all types of ethnicities here.”