Canadian actress Sandra Oh joined one of the "Stop Asian Hate" protests in Pittsburgh on 20th March to make a brief but powerful speech about solidarity in the face of increased hate crimes and racism against Asians and Asian-Americans.
"Pittsburgh, I am so happy and proud to be here with you and thank you to all the organizers for organising this just to give us an opportunity to be together and to stand together and to feel each other," Oh said. "For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful for everyone willing to listen."
She continued, "One thing that I know is that many in our community are very scared, and I understand that. And one way to go through our fear is to reach out to our community." She then asked for allyship and support from the crowd. "If you see something, will you help me? If you see one of our sisters and brothers in need, will you help us? We must understand, as Asian Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, 'Help me and I'm here.'"
Oh then led the protesters in a final chant: "I am proud to be Asian. I belong here."
Many celebrities have been speaking out in the wake of the attacks and in support of the Asian and Asian-American community, including Olivia Munn, Daniel Dae Kim, Mindy Kaling, and Trevor Noah. Kim has been especially politically active, and even spoke to Congress on 18th March to urge lawmakers to pass stricter legislation with the goal of reducing hate crimes. He also called out Republicans in Congress who didn't vote for a resolution last year 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 against people of Asian descent, 164 members of Congress, all Republican, voted against it," he said at the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing. "And now here I am again, because as every witness in this hearing has pointed out, the situation has gotten worse, much worse."
“I’m not naive enough to think that I’m going to convince all of you to stand up for us,” Kim said. “But I am speaking to those whom humanity still matters.”