Vigils and rallies are increasingly becoming a routine over the past month in an effort to bring awareness to a stark rise in hate crimes against the Asian community during the pandemic.
Nailing it For America, a volunteer advocacy group for nail salons and other community interests, held their third vigil because of the increasing violence and racism against the Asian American community.
The rise in hate crimes against the Asian community pushed organizers to teach residents self defense tactics and general personal safety measures, in partnership with the Vietnamese Martial Arts Center and the Garden Grove Police Department.
The words “No Hate” were slated to be emblazoned across Orange County’s sky in the evening, but due to the Santa Ana winds the sky message was postponed and is scheduled for some time next week, according to Tam Nguyen, co-founder of Nailing It For America.
The message was paid for by Kien Nguyen, Vietnamese American grandmother and Fountain Valley Resident who has repeatedly been a target of racist rhetoric when out exercising in the park.
Nguyen said she hasn’t been physically attacked in Orange County, but has experienced racism.
“They say she has COVID stay away from her and go back to your home and I said my home is here. I’ve been here for almost 50 years,” she said.
“My home is here.”
Faith leaders and residents gathered at the nearby Community Center Park for a candlelight vigil to pray for peace and safety. The candles were displayed on phones and tablets for public safety reasons and luminarias filled with community members’ prayers and wishes were placed in a pond.
The vigil was also held to honor the 10 people killed at a grocery store shooting in Colorado on Monday, as well as the people killed in a shooting in Georgia — a majority of whom were Asian women.
The recent killings is the second mass shooting in the country in a span of a week.