‘I feel on edge sometimes.’ Prominent Asian Americans speak out against rise in bias incidents
Many prominent Asian Americans are speaking out against anti-Asian bias incidents, including an Asian-American actress from New Jersey.
Actress Midori Francis has felt a change in how she is sometimes treated while in public since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“I feel on edge sometimes walking around Asian in this country, right now,” says Francis.
Star of the Netflix series, "Dash and Lily,” Francis is of Japanese descent. She is a Rumson native and Rutgers University graduate. She says the growing bias incidents against Asian Americans are hurtful, but also a call to action.
“For me personally, it’s the hardening that happens of like, who do I have to defend? What can I do?” Francis says.
The actress is among many in Hollywood's Asian American community speaking out against hate. Actress Sandra Oh joined a weekend rally in Pittsburgh held in response to the murders in Georgia that included six Asian women and violent attacks against Asian Americans that have increased for the past year.
Many have attributed the increase in the incidents to rhetoric surrounding COVID-19. Bias incidents are up 150%, prompting a Congressional hearing.
Francis believes even that increase may be an undercount.
“As a community, Asian Americans often feel they can't speak out or even voice their experiences with racism in this country. So, I know there is a lot that's been underreported,” Francis says.
She says that she hopes not only is there a stop to the attacks, but also more teaching of Asian American history to build an understanding and prevent future incidents.