Leaders Denounce Hate, Urge Utahns To Support Asian, Pacific Islander Communities

Mar 23, 2021, 5:18 PM | Updated: 8:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After the murders of six Asian American women one week ago in Atlanta, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson denounced hate Tuesday and called on Utahns to support our Asian American community.

She asked everyone to take action that moves our community past words of reconciliation.

She was joined by several leaders in Utah’s Asian American community as she made a call to action to denounce hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“Today I stand in solidarity and as an ally to denounce hate, and I’m also here to ask that our community take action,” said Wilson.

“Our AAPI communities (Asian American Pacific Islander) are hurting,” said Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay. There is fear among Asians in Utah, she said.

“Let us take this horrific and unspeakable act of hate and discrimination, xenophobia, and look to becoming educated, working with our law enforcement as we stand in solidarity against hate,” Iwamoto said.

She urged people to speak out against prejudice and report hate crimes, rather than remaining silent out of fear.

“Words matter and have been attributed to a precipitous rise in anti-Asian violence. Actions matter. If we see hateful behavior, we cannot idly standby,” she said.

During the last year, there have been nearly 4,000 violent attacks against people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the U.S., and a growing number of those crimes in Utah.

Rep. Karen Kwan, D-Murray, is a descendent of a Chinese railroad worker. She does not even know his name, she said, because the railroad workers were not considered important enough to even record their names. Too often, she said, they have been marginalized.

“Our history as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is either racialized or invisible,” Kwan said. “We are either perpetual foreigners or the model minority.”

She and Iwamoto urged Utahns to support Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses, take bystander training to learn how to de-escalate conflict and get to know Asian Americans.

“We know how to reduce prejudice, and that’s to get to know one another,” Kwan said.

“It is about all of us coming together in opposition to those who would profess hate, speak hate, and act upon hate,” said Sim Gill, Salt Lake County district attorney.

Wilson said Salt Lake County will always embrace diversity because it makes us stronger.

“I challenge you to be an ally,” Wilson said. “Take the time to listen, to learn, and to denounce hate.”

On Wednesday, the Salt Lake County Council of Diversity Affairs will adopt an action plan that will guide the county’s work in eradicating systemic bias and institutional racism.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The crowd gathering at Washington Square to march to the Utah Capitol....
Brittany Tait

Crowd marched to Utah State Capitol in solidary with Iran

A large crowd marched from Washington Square to the steps of the Utah State Capitol on Saturday to show solidarity for those suffering in Iran.
1 day ago
Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center....
Michael Houck & Ladd Egan

Day One of 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tens of thousands gathered in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday for the 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1 day ago
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteers help clean up and repair the aftermath of Hurricane Ia...
Mike Anderson

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members help clean up the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

"As horrible as natural disasters are, you see the best of humanity," Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members gather in Florida to help clean up the mess Hurricane Ian left behind.
1 day ago
Denali Stubbs, preparing his bike for the upcoming race....
Alex Cabrero

Hildale high school bike team participates in regional race

"I just want to do the same for these kids:” a Hillside parent hopes to encourage teens in his community to dream bigger by getting involved in sports.
1 day ago
Authorities responding to the fatal rollover crash. (UDOT)...
Michael Houck

Two dead after pickup truck crashes into ravine near I-215

Authorities are investigating a rollover crash that killed two of its occupants on I-215 near 1000 South Saturday afternoon. 
1 day ago
President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the Saturday morning session of the 192nd Semiannual Gene...
Josh Ellis

President Nelson addresses using chair during conference talk

President Russell M. Nelson took to social media after Latter-day Saints noticed he used a chair to deliver his remarks during the Saturday morning session of the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Leaders Denounce Hate, Urge Utahns To Support Asian, Pacific Islander Communities