Last weekend, more than 100 people gathered over two days at the intersection of State Route 522 and Bothell Way NW in support of the Asian-American and Pacific-Islander (AAPI) communities who have been victim to a wave of hate crimes in Washington state and across the country.
Participants of the rally held signs condemning racism and hate against AAPI communities. Many cars honked, waved or even cheered as they passed by in support of their message.
Savannah Jackson, founder and CEO of the group that organized the event in partnership with Room To Craft, Anti-Racist Communities: Bothell, said the message of the event wass to show the communities solidarity through troubling times and events.
“This is what community looks like,” rally-goers repeated in a chant led by Jackson.
She said the turnout of participants and the variety of people who showed up to support AAPI and minority communities gave her hope about creating the change the community needs.
Another organizer of the event, Han Tran, said she wanted the rallies to be accessible to all. Masks were provided to those who did not have them and sign making materials were provided.
Tran said she was pleased with the community’s support of Anti-Racist Communities: Bothell. Local tea shop Böba, owned by Lisa Nguyen, even gave away free boba teas and accepted donations to be given to Anti-Racist Communities: Bothell.
Tran, who is running for Bothell City Council, said it is important as the community is going through this to understand the historical legacy of racism in the community because often racist histories are more prevalent in communities like Bothell than residents may think.
“The bias and hate has gotten worse due to the pandemic and fluctuates along with the political relationships between the U.S. and other Asian countries,” she said, using the Japanese internment camps in Washington during World War II as an example.
She said hate against minority groups starts somewhere and is gradually built up over generations.