DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — The number of anti-Asian hate incidents in the U.S. has nearly doubled this year, according to national reports.
Across the nation Saturday, several rallies were held in solidarity with the victims and communities affected, including here in central Ohio.
Signs against anti-Asian hate were spread across Dublin’s Coffman Park as a crowd of people made up of law enforcement, political leaders, and Dublin residents, gathered in solidarity with Ohio’s Asian community, in calling out hateful and racist acts.
“We’ve heard from our neighbors, of acts of micro and macroaggression,” said Community Against Hate organizer Greg Lam. “We’ve seen racism all across the country and the world, and here in Dublin, we’re not immune to it. We see it here in Dublin as well.”
The rally was one of several taking place across the nation, with at least three happening in central Ohio at parks in Reynoldsburg, Columbus, and Dublin.
“Most of society doesn’t know about the contributions and the struggles, we must take action!” said one of the speakers at the Dublin rally.
It was a call to action put out by the youth of the community, who spoke on the importance of making their voices heard.
“We are Americans, through and through,” said the speaker. “We love this country, but our turnout rate is the lowest…”
“So voter registration is the main focus of APAPA (Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association), because a lot of immigrants came from another country, we didn’t experience democracy,” said Community Against Hate event chairperson Nan Li. “So education awareness is the first step toward democracy.”
Li said as a part of Saturday’s rally, APAPA manned tables for voter registration and provided election information to anyone interested.
And even those who aren’t yet old enough to vote are still part of this organization and helping to spread its message.
“As a part of APAPA, I’m the secretary for the youth division in Columbus,” said Arwen Zhang, a student at Dublin-Jerome High School. “I helped organize the event, and I’m helping to organize the youth speakers and just coming out here today and talking with everyone. It really brings that sense of community and that hope that we can really do better.”
The month of May is also Asian Heritage Month, and other similar rallies are being planned.