SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Asian American Pacific Islander community got together at the Salt Lake Community College to honor the eight victims who lost their lives in a shooting in Atlanta on Tuesday
In front of the college doorstep were the names of the victims, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.
“This is something that is a problem that not everyone is addressing,” says SLCC student Bianca Teh.
Bianca Teh says she wishes folks would love Asians as much as they love their food.
“You know we have all these emotions and feelings of being scared, not just for our elderly but just for ourselves,” she says. ” I feel like we’ve been silenced for so long and we’ve always keep our head down or try to assimilate as kind of the word I’ve learned of some intergrading here.”
Teh says the attack in Georgia was an attack on the entire Asian American Pacific Islander Community because of implicit bias and xenophobia. Adding “This is something that is a problem that not everyone is addressing.”
“I think that if people are silent around you then maybe you should be thinking about are you silencing them,” says SLCC Associate VP of Student Success Dr. Kathryn Kay Coquemont.
Dr. Coquemont says recently someone aimed disparaging comments at her in a store because of her race.
“Anyone who has ever felt like they were excluded or hated for something they couldn’t control, you know that it just leaves you feeling helpless,” she says.
For the many who feel the same way, Friday was a good reminder that Utahns care to fix some of the issues that aren’t traditionally heard.
“It means the world to me now,” says SLC Resident Clarysa Park. “To see this kind of support here in Utah, in a conservative state, yeah it means a lot.”
Dr. Coquemont adds, “I’m really glad that our community has come together to be thoughtful about how we are representing voices that are traditionally not heard and also stand up against the hate so many have been facing.”