Gov. Larry Hogan’s wife, First Lady Yumi Hogan, espoused strength and emphasized the need for unity in the wake of a growing number of attacks against Asian-Americans throughout the nation.
Mrs. Hogan, 61, is the first Korean-American first lady of a U.S. state as well as the first Asian-American first lady of Maryland. She emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea more than four decades ago.
“My fellow Asian Americans weep over the rising number of attacks against our people. But in the face of this senseless violence, I see a new strength, determination and resilience in our eyes,” Hogan wrote in a CNN op-ed that was published on Thursday.
She added: “We will not stay silent anymore. But we will also not respond with vengeance. Instead, we will love each other more, we will support each other more, and we will stand together. We will make sure the overwhelming outpouring of support from leaders turns into real and lasting action that protects our children and grandchildren.”
Hogan noted that many Asian-Americans have personally experienced both racism and discrimination.
“Many Asian Americans and most first-generation immigrants have experienced it at least a couple of times. Some may share common experiences-no support or response was provided by the police when hate crimes or incidents happened; their windows were broken by aggressors; discrimination or bamboo-ceilings prevented them from being promoted at work; they were asked where they “originally” or “really” come from; their children were bullied and told they “smell bad” due to their lunch box with Asian food; they were insulted with slanted-eye gestures.”
Hogan said urgent action is needed to address the recent spike in anti-Asian hate crimes.
“The time has come for us to speak out, and demand action…We are calling on leaders in Washington, DC, to take this matter seriously by passing laws, like those we have in Maryland, that improve and expand the reporting of hate crimes.”
Hogan stressed that America is great because of its diversity.
“This country is the envy of the world because of its diversity. That diversity makes us stronger, and it is built on embracing, understanding, and enjoying the differences among us.”