BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — For the second weekend in a row, the City of Buffalo is showing up to support the Asian American community.
A ‘Stop Asian Hate’ rally took place in Niagara Square Sunday morning.
Spread around Niagara Square Sunday morning, Buffalo’s Asian American community shared a blunt truth, that they don’t feel they can keep quiet any longer.
“I think that the recent events transpired to the point that we feel we have to speak up,” Dr. Jian Feng.
Dr. Feng came to the United States 28 years ago and has lived in Buffalo for more than two decades.
“It is our duty to speak up against evil and promote kindness. Only when we work together as one nation could we make American stronger for everyone,” Dr. Feng said.
In America’s 16 largest cities, anti-Asian hate crimes increased 149% in 2020, according to the center for the study of hate and extremism.
A wave of rallies in support of the Asian community has cascaded across the nation in the last two weeks in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings. Of the eight people who died, six were women of Asian descent.
But the organizer of Sunday’s rally says this isn’t just about those women.
“And it’s for all of us, everyone in the Asian community who have dealt with racist acts on a daily basis,” said Event Organizer Kathy Xu.
Erie county, District Attorney John Flynn says while hate crimes against Asian Americans are up nationwide, there has not been an uptick of them locally.
But this weekend, he’s sharing this message.
“I just want to let you know and let the community know that you don’t need to be afraid to report it. Please tell me,” said Flynn.
“Because I assure you that if there is a hate crime being committed, I will prosecute it.”
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.