The March 16 shootings in Atlanta, Georgia have left a visible toll on “Emily in Paris” star Ashley Park.
Park, through tears, addressed the three deadly shootings that took eight lives, including six Asian Americans. The actress started by sharing a tweet from Pachinko author Min Jin Lee.
In less than 48 hours, we had a historic Asian Oscar moment with multiple firsts in 93 years—then a mass shooting targeting 3 Asian-owned businesses. This is how terrorism works—you’re not allowed to feel safe, accepted, or valued. We can resist. Take up space. Make noise.
— Min Jin Lee (@minjinlee11) March 17, 2021
“These things happen when people have rage and entitlement, and when they prey on the weak. I really don’t want to cry right now, because I do not want to perpetuate the idea that Asian women are weak, because we’re not,” Park said in the video. Adding that she wants a way to “move forward in a country run by white supremacy.”
“I have a lot of hope, I do, for this younger generation,” she added. “I guess that’s what every generation thinks, right? That they are making a better world for the younger generation. I guess that’s the whole point. So, I do hope that this younger generation lives in a world where they don’t have to deal with this, or they at least have the tools and allies to deal with it better than I am dealing with it right now.”
Park warned that sweeping acts of racism begin with baby steps.
“This racism starts at a very small level. It starts when you call a virus that shuts down the whole world the ‘Kung Flu virus.’ It also starts when you roll your eyes or make fun of waiters or Chinese food delivery people and the nail artist. I’m guilty of that, too,” a visibly emotional Park continued. “The amount of times I’ve been asked where I’m from before what my name is…”
“You don’t understand what undervaluing that does,” she said. “Starting with children when every Asian should be able to be good at math and play a classical instrument and not be bullied and shunned and told you are only good at that because you are Asian. That makes literally no sense.
“It starts with the stupid little jokes,” she continued, “even with your close friend, it starts with saying ‘Oh this is a good time for you to be in that industry because ethnic is really in right now.'”
Park wrapped up her speech by urging others to conquer hate at the micro-level.
“I could go on and on and on and this is not about that. It just this 21-year-old with a gun last night, he came from somewhere and at some point someone could have told him what he was feeling and thinking, and that hate was wrong,” Park concluded. “It starts at [a] really small level and I think we can do it.”