TULSA, Okla. — Tulsans from all walks of life gathered Friday at the Center of the Universe in downtown Tulsa for a Stop Asian Hate rally. Asian-American activists said now is the time to make their voices heard.
"It's not a time to remain silent," Sarah Gilpin said.
Gilpin was one of a handful of speakers at the rally. She spoke of her Korean descent, moving to Sand Springs, Okla., and encountering racist verbal assaults at school.
"It was laughed off and disregarded as being just a funny prank," she said.
Sadly, Gilpin is also just one of reported thousands of Asian-Americans experiencing racism in their daily lives.
Recent studies show the number of hate crimes reported by Asian-Americans jumped significantly since the start of the pandemic.
Stop Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders Hate says it received reports of almost 3,300 racially-profiled crimes in 2020. The group said that number is up 85 percent from 2019.
Another report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism shows a near 150 percent increase.
“Words matter and when someone refers to the virus as the Kung Flu or the Chinese virus, people who are hateful and aggressive immediately turn their anger towards a demographic," Gilpin said.
Gilpin told 2 Works for You racial profiling and hate is a problem for the Asian community in Green Country. She said turning a blind eye is ignoring the issue.
"It's important to stand behind our Asian community, not only in this country, but in this city," she said.
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