Letter to the editor: A call for unity and a rally against hate


On March 16, multiple shootings occurred in Atlanta in which eight people were killed and others were injured. Among the dead were six Asian-American women.  This terrible incident is the latest in the rising number of anti-Asian crimes in America over the past year and is a trend apparently being fueled by a feeling by some that the COVID-19 pandemic was caused by China, and by extension, people of Asian ethnicity.

The Stop AAPI (Asian-American Pacific Islander) Hate National Report shows nearly 3,800 anti-Asian incidents were reported from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149% in 2020 according to an analysis of official preliminary police data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. And these statistics reflect only reported incidents—many more such incidents are never reported. (Source: https://www.csusb.edu/sites/default/files/FACT%20SHEET-%20Anti-Asian%20Hate%202020%203.2.21.pdf)

We are blessed to live in a community such as Edmonds that is welcoming and kind, but members of our Asian-American and Pacific Islander community are feeling fearful about what they are seeing and hearing about the recent anti-Asian actions in our country and region. For this reason, we are calling on my fellow leaders and community members to join in efforts to stand up to this hate. We are  currently working with a number of individuals in our community to put together a peaceful rally in the very near future in Edmonds and other parts of Snohomish County to provide an opportunity for us to come together in unity and to raise awareness about the need to support and respect one another—especially during these troubled times.  More details about the rally will be announced soon.

If you would like to be involved in supporting or organizing this event with me, please feel free to contact Will Chen at friendsofwill21@gmail.com. Now is not the time to stand by, we must speak up and speak out as one voice against this hate!

Together We Will!

Will Chen
Jenna Nand

  1. What evidence is there that the Atlanta shooter is lying about his motives? There are plenty of legitimate events in our country to reference. It weakens an important topic when possibly unrelated events are handled in this way.

    1. Is the first comment (from Glen) an attempt to move away for the POINT of showing our fellow citizens support? I hope not Glen.
      Sure the letter led with yesterday’s massacre but perhaps that’s just what inspired the letter writers in the first place?
      Is it best to suggest a revise and edit instead of going off on Will and Jenna?
      **Or do you hear how ridiculous my idea is and see why it’s best to just comment on the letter’s main point which is the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans?
      Glen I am sure you agree with the idea of rallying Edmonds citizens to actually put supportive ACTION to where their talk is, yes?
      Thank you Will and Jenna,
      I’m glad you’ve decided to actually do something to try and convey to our citizens of Asian American descent, that not all non-Asians are taking their disturbed beliefs out on them, as though they actually represent entire countries personally.
      My hope is that the people who have given so much of their time and energy protesting and showing their support to their causes these last few years at the intersection of 100th/ Hwy104 – – will please consider moving to Hwy 99/ 224th,
      because time and time again that area gets called out on these My Edmonds News comments sections as ignored and/ or not included.
      Perhaps this will be a turning point to moving the crowd up to 99?

      1. I agree. That is where every Asian Retail business other than restaurants is located. Along 99. Also all the same type of massage parlors are. This is NOT the fault of these women…it is probably sex trafficking and they have to pay their debt. We need to check on all if these. Because I know instinctively that the owners of those “massage parlors” don’t care one bit about these young women. So, we need both support and surveillance of businesses such as these, and all the food stands and gift shops. I’ve been in all of those retail stores as an outreach worker for SHD. To be honest the kindest, sweetest people I’ve met. I also went to all of them from Seattle to the Canadian border. Blaine and Rast and w. I worked as a sales rep for a company at the Seattle wholesale center. So…my favorite part was the outreach. WE had printed material on access to care in so many Asian dialects it would shock you. Now I speak none of those and they the retailers then anyway spoke none to a bit of English.
        So, I tried using my hands everything I could think of. They got it. I got them. They proudly displayed our literature…and it worked. They were so great. We giggled together…at me mainly doing charades haha. I remember. So YES I CARE. Just be careful assembling as well we don’t want anyone else to be shot. Right. ? I’d rather guard them then meet right now. For them…not for me. I have lovely Asian neighbors across the street I will be on guard.

    2. Anti asian rhetoric and actions have been increasing over the year. I’ve experience them myself unfortunately. This white shooter can blame his sexual addiction problems on whatever he wants to, that’s his problem. But he chose to kill 8 people, 6 of whom were asian women, often hypersexualized in American society. It must be nice to be able to make a comment like yours and not have to consider the consequences it has on a community.

    3. From the link Will Chen cited, the FBI data is the only long-term trend and Hate-Incidents against Asians are DOWN. The trend only ticks up a bit since 2017, which seems to coincide to when LEO’s have recently been more inclined to categorize a crime as a hate crime. Just to prove this, I dare say that hate crime against white people is up as much as hate crime against Asians. There is no shortage of tangible examples of hate crime against white people.

      Then there’s this complete nonsense about calling the virus the China-flu. Put this into context; is it China who is committing genocide against the Uygher people, or is it Asians committing genocide against the Uygher people?

      In the same way we can’t blame Asians living here for genocide, we aren’t blaming Asians living here for the China-originated virus. The Chinese state, the CCP, has some serious culpability in the cultivation, leak, and cover-up of all this. Will Chen should be the first to want to hold China accountable. I don’t hate China, but I have reason to be afraid.

      Who is in favor of hate?

      1. Once again Matt, you bring clarity and facts to the forum. The panic and hysteria somehow has been late in arriving on behalf of our Asian Ancestry Friends. You were one of the very few defending the Asian ladies at the Nail Salon last year. Not many others stepped forward at that time. I wonder why?

        In this recent tragedy, the “trigger” seems to be that a white male had a sexual addiction and blamed the workers in several massage parlors, who were Asian. He is accused of murdering these people. He will face charges, a trial, and hopefully a just punishment.

        It seems to be that “Hate Crimes” are increasing with many who blame others for their sad state or if they do not interpret the world and its ills exactly as they do. They lash out in their ignorance to blame someone for their weakness.

        Plenty of finger pointing and feel good sign carrying. Good on you if this is how you want to express yourself.

        1. People generally are more anti-White than pro-Asian. Edmonds cares more about what someone White did thousands of miles away than something that happened against our Asian community right here. Last year I dialed into an Edmonds Diversity Committee meeting, where people were literally crying over George Floyd. I asked the committee a simple question, “Anyone, shout it out if you know it. I will wait. What was the name of the young man shot dead at the Edmonds Senior Center? ” AFM eventually googled it. No one knew his name. None when to his vigil (as far as I could tell from not seeing them there myself).

  2. I just want to say, I support the Asian American community. I will be happy to participate in the rally.

    As for Glen’s point, it’s well taken but I think the timing has left a lot of people scared. And sadly, it’s hard to know if the police community is holding back information. There are possible reason to hold back, they may be trying to prevent the situation from further inflaming passions and further escalating violence. They may be trying to avoid retaliatory acts of violence. There are just so many possibilities that people may not want to rely on the information being provided by the Sheriffs office there.
    Please be compassionate.

    1. Hi Buck,

      My pleasure. I hope it helps. Thank you for your comments as well. I appreciate your coming to the Asian American Communities defense in a time of tragedy. Not that I represent them. We civilized people must stand-up for what’s right, and I believe that’s what your comments represent that.

  3. Great letter Will and Jenna- thanks to you and those at Westgate and all who are demonstrating to convey that “Hate has no home here”. We are better together.

  4. I’m looking forward to more news about the rally! I’m grateful to those of us who endure anti-Asian prejudice and still continue to work for consistently fair and decent treatment with equal rights and equal protection.

    1. We’ve got ya. You are right. I am sorry you have been having these problems. Asian women are and have been hypersexualized all over the world.
      I had no idea any Asian folks were being harassed around here and it angers me to the tenth Power. You need help, you need a drive by looker, or just a talk. I’m here 24/7. Once an outreach worker always an outreach worker. Even if you are retired and Free haha. to you, Nick. Deb and Dan.

  5. You’re losing me Will. The pandemic was caused by China. Even China is admitting that to an extent now. Again….. I gave you two tangible examples of when Asians were attacked right here in Edmonds. The community response here was aloof. Have you reached out to these people? Asians need representation in Edmonds. Are you that person? What are your thoughts on the CCP exactly?

    1. It appears that Will Chen might have forgotten the Nail Salon event. So it seems we all can pick-and-chose which slight or hate against the Asian (or any minority group) community we support. This is not headed in a “fair or equitable” direction. It all seems political.

      1. Grace- you are reading WAY too much into this suggestion of calling upon the Edmonds community to show Edmonds isn’t all that full of racists.
        I’m curious to know why you feel this need shift the focus? Why not just come out of the closet and tell us how you really feel about Jenna & Will’s suggestion?

        1. I know Grace is not in a closet; however perhaps you are asking if She is gay? My, you are a “curious” person. I think you are the person reading way too much into Ms Gonzalez comment; you seem to make a habit of attack-the-commenters personally instead of sharing your idea of a topic.

  6. Of course, we will stand with you , walk with you. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.
    Let us know when and where !
    Thank you for the invtation.

    1. James, HaHa, Good lord NO!, thanks for the tip on commenting, I will take that into consideration…
      I’m just exhausted by years of pushback on these (M.E.News) comments- – for example: topics of Edmonds School District’s updated policies, white people’s refusal to look into the meaning of white fragility, their fixation on what BLM “could really be” (fake news) instead of just simply admitting that there is a place for BLM and a need for it.
      Look, the teaching of equality is now outdated and we need to continue learning about what equity entails, and I notice multiple commenters in MEN have certainly escalated in the era of Trump.
      *That’s what I meant by coming out of the closet. Just as the term once only referred to one no longer hiding if their sexuality. Now, in American society people are feeling they should stop hiding their racism.

  7. What difference does it make where the virus came from or what that killer’s actual motives were? The point is a demented mind took the lives and physical and mental well being of some innocent people, many female and of Asian decent. People were killed either because they were female or Asian or both.

    I totally agree with Mr. Phipps, an injustice to one is an injustice to all, and I commend Mr. Chen for calling this out for what it is. Words matter and irresponsible people using irresponsible words (and the good of them being shamed for it) matters even more. It’s time to stand up to the bullies and creeps among us, who make life difficult for us all, and even cause death at times. Free speech ends with yelling “fire” in a crowded theater unless there is indeed a fire and lives can definitely be saved by yelling “fire.”

  8. Hello,
    For everyone asking about the rally:
    It will be held this Sunday March 21st at 3:00 around the ranch 99 area.
    For more information you can search “Unite Against Hate Edmonds” on Facebook

    1. Just to clarify since we just posted a story about it. The March 21 rally is NOT the same one being organized by the letter writers here. That will be held on a different day, according to them.

  9. When you hold rallies against hate, instigated by unrelated incidents, you diminish the actual issue. This is getting entirely out of hand. Quit hijacking causes and be honest. The Atlanta murderer doesn’t belong in this topic. I don’t care if unicorns remind you of hate, that’s your issue to deal with. This knee jerk reaction to every headline is not helping us cure any of our problems. This is gibberish, meant to make people feel better about themselves. I still haven’t seen one factual point about ties between Atlanta’s tragedy and hate crimes. And my Asian family doesn’t benefit from lies. This is founded on a lie.

  10. I am under the impression the letter writers are suggesting the community take a form of action to show support for the people in Edmonds that are of Asian descent. I don’t think the Jenna and Will are limiting it to participate only if you think the recent massacre is related to the recent massive increase in violence against Asian Americans.
    I’m not gonna let one, pitiful, measly, InCel take away the important, main message of peace and unity for Asian Americans and I don’t think anybody who has commented today should either.

  11. Want to help the Asian community? Befriend them and remove the ridiculous penalties imposed on them by universities. Stop the racial penalties they have been enduring for decades in college admissions, all in the name of equity.

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