Anti-Asian sentiment is a serious concern for Daniel Dae Kim.
On Thursday, the the former “Lost” star testified about the recent rise in anti-Asian violence and violence at a U.S. Congressional House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Kim called out Republicans who declined to vote for last year’s resolution condemning anti-Asian hate.
“I was disheartened to find that for a bill that required no money or resources, just a simple condemnation of acts of hate against people of Asian descent, 164 members of Congress, all Republican voted against it,” he said. “And now here I am again, because as every witness in this hearing has pointed out, the situation has gotten worse, much worse.”
Daniel Dae Kim on House bill condemning anti-Asian sentiment: "I was disheartened to find that for a bill that required no money or resources, just a simple condemnation of acts of hate …164 members of Congress—all Republican—voted against it." https://t.co/Apq0AYUMdR pic.twitter.com/B2ZY10Rwlo
— ABC News (@ABC) March 18, 2021
The actor also responded to Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office’s comments at a press conference about the the shooting in Atlanta that killed eight, including six Asian women.
At the press conference, Baker said of the shooter, “He was pretty much fed up and had been at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.”
Kim commented at the hearing, “You know when I have a bad day, I think about going home and having a beer and watching a movie with my family. I don’t think about going out and murdering eight people.”
Continuing his appeal to the members of Congress, Kim said, “I’m not naive enough to think that I’m going to convince all of you to stand up for us. But I am speaking to those whom humanity still matters.”
He added, “There are several moments in the country’s history that chart its course indelibly for the future. For Asian Americans, that moment is now. What happens right now and over the course of the coming months will send a message a message for generations to come as to whether we matter, whether the country we call home chooses to erase us, or include us, dismiss us, or respect us, invisible-ize us, or see us. Because you may consider us as statistically insignificant now, but one more fact that has no alternative is that we are the fastest growing racial demographic in the country. We are 23 million strong. We are united, and we are waking up.”
Kim also appeared Wednesday night on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” to talk about the shooting in Atlanta.
Actor @danieldaekim shares his own experience with anti-Asian American racism against his family, saying he's a "bit skeptical" that the Atlanta murders are unrelated to race. https://t.co/TNwu9PqBOz pic.twitter.com/Vvrf1S71Vo
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) March 18, 2021
Reacting to the horrific event, Kim shared his own story of how his sister experienced what he says was anti-Asian violence.
“She was running in her own neighbourhood when a man driving a car came up to her and yelled at her to get on the sidewalk when she was running on the shoulder,” the actor said. “She said she would do that, and the man then backed up and hit her with the car. My sister turned around and was shocked, and told him that ‘You just hit me,’ he backed up the car, and as my sister was walking away, hit her again, knocking her to the ground.”
Investigators in the Atlanta shooting case have not yet determined whether they consider the attack a hate crime, but Kim says that, in his sister’s case, police didn’t even consider the possibility.
“This man had a history of violence toward other Asian women, but when it got time to prosecute him, the D.A. was telling my sister that ‘we’ll never get a hate crime. You should just hope for whatever you can get,’” Kim recalled. “He ended up getting convicted of reckless driving when he used his car as a weapon to kill my sister, and there was no one in the system who was willing to help her shepherd this case to the appropriate justice.”
Also referencing Baker’s comments, Kim said, “Just as the sheriff’s spokesman said today that this man was having a bad day, the judge in the case with my sister said, ‘I can understand why this guy was frustrated, I get frustrated, too.’ And that’s what he said, and that’s when the verdict was brought down that this would be reckless driving.”
While the shooter himself, in his confession to police, denied that his attack was racially motivated, Kim wasn’t about to take him at his word.
“This is a part of our history, Chris,” Kim said, “so I’m a bit skeptical when I hear there is absolutely no connection between race and these murders.”
ET Canada stands with the Asian community in working together to stop anti-Asian racism in Canada, the United States, and around the world to #StopAsianHate.
Canadians can stay informed by following community groups and leaders, including but not limited to: https://nextshark.com/, https://www.dearasianyouth.org/home, https://www.thepeahceproject.com/ and https://www.asianmhc.org/instagram-partners.
If you or someone you know is experiencing hate-crimes related to xenophobic attacks in Canada you can file a report at: https://www.elimin8hate.org/fileareport.
Bystander intervention training to anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment is available at: ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/.