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Las Vegas Asian, Pacific Islander community pushing back on racism, hate with rally

Gov. Sisolak, other leaders in attendance
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Posted at 6:31 PM, Apr 01, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Pushing back against Asian hate.

Members of the Las Vegas valley’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community rallied together in Chinatown to condemn racism and violence across the country.

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Gov. Steve Sisolak and other state leaders were in attendance in support of the message.

Signs like “Stop Asian Hate” and “Hate is a Virus” filled Chinatown Plaza during Thursday's call to action in English and Mandarin Chinese

“I don’t anyone has not had an experience where they were profiled against or made fun of or called Jackie Chan," said Randy Gao, who immigrated from China when he was six.

He says he has experienced moments where people have mocked his race.

Gao says the attacks against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities around the country made him angry and he wanted to call it out, frustrated by the lack of attention before.

“I don’t know who’s more guilty," said Gao. "The people committing these heinous acts, or people not doing anything about it."

“No one should ever be targeted or persecuted for their race, ethnicity, or the color of their skin," said Nevada first lady Cathy Sisolak.

She says she supports the message and, as a daughter of Chinese immigrants, it’s imperative to speak up.

“It’s important we raise awareness," said the first lady. "To the extent, I can use my platform to do that."

Her husband, Gov. Steve Sisolak, says while there’s no state legislation right now aimed at addressing hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, raising awareness of combating it is his main focus.

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“It’s really encouraging to see so many people here protesting and really genuinely care. That this is an important part of our community,” he said.

Congresswoman Dina Titus says action is being taken at the federal level. She’s working on bills with her fellow representatives to do that.

“I’m working with Rep. Grace Meng on a law to enhance penalties against hate crimes,” she said.

Gao is thrilled to see local leaders hearing their call to action saying he’s tired of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community being seen as invisible.

“We’ve been always seen as the minority that people don’t care about," he said. "So I’m actually glad people are out here and it’s showing people actually care.”

Stop AAPI Hate compiled a report that showed there have been nearly 3,800 incidents of hate reported since March 2020, with most reported by women. A full report can be found here.