Asian Americans in metro Detroit holding rally in Troy against racism
Asian Americans are holding another rally against racism, this time on Sunday in Troy, a city with a growing population of residents of Asian origin.
“We are asking individuals to join us, raise our voices and speak out,” organizers said in a statement from two local Asian-American groups: Whenever we are needed Detroit and Asian Pacific & Islander American Vote – Michigan.
The rally will take place in front of Troy Town Hall on Big Beaver Road from 2pm to 5pm. According to the 2019 US Census, Troy is the largest city in Oakland County and is 26% Asian-Americans.
This marks the fifth Asian-American rally in Metro Detroit since the March 16 shooting in Atlanta that killed six Asian American women and two others. Other rallies took place in Detroit, Royal Oak and Ann Arbor. Even before the Atlanta incident, there was growing concern about anti-Asian attacks over the past year.
Asian Americans on Metro Detroit said some were afraid to go out in public.
“My own mother, she told me she was scared of walking around the neighborhood or even going to meijers or grocery stores … unless it’s an Asian store,” Ngianhormua Yang of Shelby Township told Whenever We Are Needed “Detroit, an activist group founded this year to fight anti-Asian racism and forge alliances with other groups.
Yang’s mother is a Laos immigrant who is part of the American Hmong community in Metro Detroit.
“She’s pretty scared for herself,” said Yang. “She won’t go to Meijers’ without me going there with her.”
According to data from the Asian-American group Stop AAPI Hate, there have been around 3,800 hate incidents against Americans from Asia since March 2020, 25 of them in Michigan.
On Friday, the Detroit FBI office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit hosted an online meeting with about 20 Asian American supporters to discuss the increasing violence against people of Asian origin.
Acting US attorney Saima Mohsin from the eastern district of Michigan, Detroit FBI special agent Timothy Waters, and other law enforcement officers took part in the discussion, according to a press release from the US attorney general.
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“The US Attorney’s Office is committed to upholding and protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans and all citizens in this state,” Mohsin said in a statement.
“It is important for all Michigandans to remember that any violent crime or threat against a person based on race, color, religion or national origin is a hate crime,” said Waters of the FBI. “This includes violence against Asian Americans, Pacific islanders, or people from East Asian countries.”
Also this week, actress Gemma Chan said there would be a podcast and possibly a film about the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin in Highland Park, whose death sparked Asian-American activism in Michigan.
Allison Huang, a When We Are Needed activist who helps organize the Troy rally, said Asian Americans are being scapegoated for the pandemic. Activists have criticized former President Donald Trump for using terms like “China virus”.
“The pandemic has devastated families and communities, and when you are suffering it is tempting to find someone to blame,” Huang said. “But how could we be responsible for events that have an ocean away? … The Asian-American community is there with everyone else, and we are taking the pandemic just as seriously. We are employees, neighbors, above all friends, fellow human beings. “
Asian Americans are also hoping for greater representation in local governments. Although they consist of four residents in Troy, they have no representation on the city council and only a few city employees of Asian origin.
They are also working to forge alliances with other groups and movements like Black Lives Matter, Yang said.
“There has been a lot of anti-Asian prejudice in the last year,” said Yang.
Contact Niraj Warikoo: [email protected] or 313-223-4792. Twitter @nwarikoo
You can file a hate or discrimination complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights by clicking here to use an online complaint form or by calling 1-800-482-3604 or emailing MDCR-INFO @ michigan. send gov