Speed Reads

'stand up for us'

Daniel Dae Kim speaks out against Asian Americans being 'made to feel like foreigners in our own country'

Actor Daniel Dae Kim powerfully spoke out against anti-Asian discrimination during a congressional hearing on Thursday, urging lawmakers to "stand up for us."

The Lost and Hawaii Five-0 star on Thursday took part in a hearing focused on an increase in anti-Asian discrimination and violence in the United States. He previously testified last year about diversity in the media, and he said Thursday he was both "honored and dismayed" to be before lawmakers again, as when it comes to acts of violence against Asian Americans, "the situation has gotten worse, much worse."

Kim decried that Asian Americans "are perpetually made to feel like foreigners in our own country," and he called on Congress to pass two key pieces of legislation, including one that would seek to "revamp hate crime reporting infrastructure in the U.S.," according to Politico. He was testifying in the wake of a shooting spree in Georgia that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent.

"I'm not naive enough to think to that I'm going to convince all of you to stand up for us," Kim said. "Trust me, I've seen your voting records. But I am speaking to those to whom humanity still matters."

The actor closed by saying that for Asian Americans, this is a key moment in the nation's history, and what happens in the coming months "will send a message for generations to come as to whether we matter." Kim has previously spoken out against anti-Asian discrimination, including when in March 2020 he called out those referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus."

"Please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people," Kim said at the time. "Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless Asian-Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking, and it's inexcusable." Brendan Morrow