Personal stories at the center of National Day of Action and Healing to stop anti-Asian hate crimes

In late February, a stranger attacked Matthew Leung at a bus stop in Rosemead with Leung's own walking stick, severing part of his finger.

"I feel that we cannot be silent anymore, and this should not be normalized. Recent anti-Asian hate crimes have been excruciating to watch," said Rita Wong of Gates Street Elementary School, who shared Leung's story on his behalf. He's experiencing PTSD following the attack.

Leung's story, a longtime Gates Street Elementary School employee, was one of many shared on Friday during a Facebook live hosted by Congresswoman Judy Chu as part of a National Day of Action and Healing. #StopAsianHate was being used to help start that dialogue on social media amid a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans across the country.

Hong Lee described a verbal and racist attack by a man at a Los Angeles restaurant a few months ago.

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"A man came up to me and handed me his business card. He said, 'hey, let's have lunch.' I respectfully declined, and informed him 'no, I'm sorry, I'm married.' He then snatched the business card from me and told me to go back to Asia," Lee said. "Followed by two minutes of hateful and derogatory words."

"We called for this national day of action. This weekend we will be going to Georgia to visit the three shooting sites and meet with AAPI local leaders to hear directly from them," said Congresswoman Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Representatives from other California congressional districts also expressed their solidarity.

"The racist attack in Georgia that killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, was a horrid reminder of the white supremacist threat that has plagued our country for hundreds of years," said Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

"That attack is rooted in the same type of hatred that killed nine Black members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and is rooted in the same type of hatred that killed 23 Latinos at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas," she added. "It is clear that the only promise of white supremacy, is that none of us are safe."

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles has an anti-Asian discrimination project to support Asian community members in Southern California.

"Including a multilingual helpline in five Asian languages, victims advocate and legal services, including most recently, adding monthly housing rights clinics," said AAAJ-LA CEO, Connie Chung Joe.

Beginning in April, the nonprofit will offer free bystander intervention trainings online.

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