Ken Jeong has some powerful words regarding the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States.
In the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings last week that killed eight people, six of them Asian women, the typically funny Jeong got serious on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” on Monday and spoke candidly about how racist rhetoric perpetuated and popularized by former President Donald Trump has affected Asian Americans.
“This is precisely due to weaponizing terms like ‘China virus’ and ‘kung flu,’” Jeong told Meyers.
“And also the fact that, in this particular crime, there’s debate whether this crime is racially motivated,” he said, referencing the Atlanta-area shootings. “Asian American women are two times as likely to be assaulted in America. This was clearly, clearly racially motivated. This was clearly a hate crime.”
“As a guy who used to be a doctor and whose wife is still practicing medicine, I have an idea of how to solve COVID. It’s mask, vaccination, common sense, don’t be an asshole. But as a human, I don’t know how to solve racism. It takes listening, learning, loving, being tolerant. But it really starts off, in our particular case as Asian Americans, this ‘kung flu’ shit has to stop. And we really need to express that loudly. And we are.”
Jeong is certainly not alone in his outrage. Some Asian American celebrities have been warning about the damage Trump’s racist agenda has been causing since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The pandemic is reminding us that our belonging is conditional,” actor John Cho wrote in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times in April 2020. “One moment we are Americans, the next we are all foreigners, who ‘brought’ the virus here.”
Many celebrities, such as Lucy Liu, Jeremy Lin and Awkwafina, have shared their experiences with racism and their frustration with the hate against their community. You can read some of their statements below.
The amount of hate, racism, and blame for COVID towards the Asian community is disgusting. The fact that this topic is not very widely covered makes me concerned. I only found videos and information because I was scrolling through my IG feed and by some algorithm it appeared.
My heart goes out to the victims and their families. These murders and countless acts of violence and the destruction of businesses and white terrorism in our communities are the direct cause of politicians and leaders fanning the flames of anti Asian rhetoric and using us as…
— Jamie Chung (@jamiechung1) March 17, 2021
a scapegoat for a global pandemic. Historically Asian immigrants have been the scapegoat for others misfortunes. This ends now. It starts by calling it what it is. MEDIA YOU NEED TO DO BETTER, CALL IT WHAT IT IS, DOMESTIC TERRORISM HATE CRIMES AGAINST ASIANS. #stopasianhate
Wake up… your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. Please please please check in on us, please please please stand with us. Please. Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren’t publicly grieving on social media. x