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'We need more human decency': San Antonians rally downtown against Asian American hate

People from all backgrounds gathered at the San Fernando Cathedral Plaza where the message was clear: Stop Asian Hate.

SAN ANTONIO — Dozens of people gathered in downtown San Antonio Saturday to denounce anti-Asian American rhetoric following a recent string of incidents nationwide.

“No one in our country should fear who they are,” said event organizer Gina Ortiz-Jones, who ran for political office in 2019 against Republican nominee Tony Gonzales.

Ortiz-Jones is an Air Force veteran who has Filipino ancestry on her mother’s side.

She calls the attacks on the Asian community – such as this week's Atlanta shootings that left six women of Asian descent dead – unamerican.  

“I’ll be honest, my gut reaction when I see that is that could be my mom, that could be a family member, that could be a friend and it’s fearful, it’s scary and we are better than that as a country,” she said.

Rallying together, signs in hand, the vigil to Stop Asian Hate comes during a time where the coronavirus has been used as a pedestal for some to act out in violent ways. From San Antonio to San Francisco to Atlanta, there has been an increase in racist, sometimes violent acts against the Asian American community. 

It’s an issue catching the attention of people from all backgrounds, including Rabbi Marina Yergin. But she’s remaining faithful in humanity.

“Disgusted, frustrated, confused. I don’t understand why this needs to keep happening,” Yergin said. "The thing that I keep going back to is, we need more human decency. It’s important to remember we’re all created within the image of God no matter what we look like, and that that’s what we’re here to support.”

Ortiz-Jones encourages people to patronize local Asian American businesses to show their support.

She also advises individuals to visit https://www.advancingjustice-aajc.org/ for additional education on the fight for civil rights of Asian Americans.