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Sandra Oh made a surprise appearance and brief speech during a “Stop Asian Hate” rally held near downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday.
In a video shared on CBSN Pittsburgh, the actress could be seen speaking to the crowd to express her gratitude for the organizers of the event and for those in attendance being willing to listen.
“Pittsburgh, I am so happy and proud to be here with you and thank you to all the organizers for organizing this just to give us an opportunity to be together and to stand together and to feel each other,” Oh told the crowd. “For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful for everyone willing to listen.”
She added, “”One thing that I know is that many in our community are very scared, and I understand that. And one way to go through our fear is to reach out to our community.” The actress then challenged everyone to help protect against violence and support “sisters and brothers” in need: “If you see something, will you help me? If you see one of our sisters and brothers in need, will you help us? We must understand, as Asian Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, ‘Help me and I’m here.’ “
To finish her speech, Oh led the crowd in a chant as she recited, “I am proud to be Asian. I belong here.”
Those in attendance at the rally could be seen holding signs that read, “Racism is a virus” and “Stop Asian Hate.”
The demonstration comes in wake of the Atlanta shooting rampage that left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent. The tragedy has led many to speak out on the risen harassment and violence aimed toward Asian Americans during the pandemic.
According to a national report by Stop AAPI Hate,3,795 racially motivated attacks against Asian Americans have taken place from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. “The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face,” the report states.
Lulu Wang, Olivia Munn, Daniel Dae Kim, Mindy Kaling, Trevor Noah, and more stars have spoken out in support of the Asian American community following the shooting. Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee, has also criticized former President Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric as being linked to the increase in violence against Asian Americans.
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