'We are Americans': Large Seattle rally calls to end hate against Asian Americans
SEATTLE - On Saturday, dozens of cities across the country saw marches and rallies calling for the hate to stop against Asian Americans.
One was held in Seattle at the Seattle Center.
Many in the Asian American community say it hurts that they have to even chant "we are Americans, too."
A number of Korean American groups formed Saturday’s rally where organizers say passionate words are not enough- they want to see meaningful change.
"A lot of people want changes in policy, resources, they want better protection, legislation," said Pastor Michael Lee with All Nations Community Church.
"The judicial system is not recognizing the crime for what it is we want them to label it and think about the perpetrators," Organizer Julie Kang said.
Kang is hoping this is the turning point.
"This is a pivoting moment in our history. I think we have to continue to empower our youth," Kang said.
Young people like Katherine Kang want to spread awareness through education.
"I’m putting together a conversation at my school where students will talk about this, but we really need to get Korean Americans of our communities and join with other Asian American groups," she said.
The group, Stop AAPI Hate, said we had nearly 3,800 incidents over the past year targeting Asian Americans, many of them women.
Verbal harassment is happening the most with 11% of incidents being physical assaults.
"I’m so sick and tired of people deliberately picking on what they consider the weakest link of my people, our race, the elderly women and children what kind of cowards do things like that," Pamela Cole said.
Cole is shaken because it happened to her in South Seattle.
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Prosecutors charged Christopher Allen Hamner with a hate crime.
They say he targeted Cole last Tuesday when she was stopped at a red light with her two children inside the car.
Hamner was in another lane. Cole said he pulled his car into a nearby lot and ran after her, yelling racial slurs. Cole said the attack was unprovoked.
"He’s pounding his fist saying 'get out,' the whole time me and my kids are just stuck," Cole said.
In that instance, Cole said she felt helpless and defenseless as a mom.
She’s thankful that Seattle Police detectives quickly solved the case and prosecutors filed felony hate crime charges.
But people at the rally say many other incidents are going unpunished or ignored.
Seattle Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz spoke at the rally to show support.
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