Hundreds attend Stop Asian Hate rally in Princeton
A Stop Asian Hate rally was held in Princeton on Saturday in response to the recent increase in violence against Asian Americans across the country.
Helena May, of Princeton, joined hundreds of others for a rally at Palmer Square with the goal to stop Asian hate crimes and racism. The 50-year-old says she has faced many hardships as an Asian American.
"Wherever I've gone to in the country, whether in the Midwest, West Coast, East Coast, I've always faced racism," May says. "I been called names. I've been called objects, dehumanizing terms."
May says she has been left on edge following the incidents of racism against Asian Americans during the pandemic and in the shooting of six Asian American women in Atlanta earlier this month.
"That could've been me," she says. "That that could've been me or anyone of our Asian American sisters."
According to data from Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate, there were nearly 3,300 incidents of hate towards Asian Americans in 2020.
Nearly 17% of Princeton residents are of Asian descent, according to 2019 US census estimates.
The Stop Asian Hate rally and vigil was put on by the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Princeton University, and the Central Jersey Chinese American Association. However, people of a variety of different backgrounds and races gathered in solidarity with Asian Americans.
"My heart breaks for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and I wanted to be here to support my friends and classmates and community," says Kalyn Nix, a student at Princeton.
According to data collected by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, while overall hate crime dropped by 7% percent in 2020 in the country's 16 largest cities, Anti‐Asian hate crimes surged by 149%.