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Laguna Beach

Guest Column

Stop Asian Hate 

By Hallie Jones

In my circle – in everyone’s circle – we are a rich mosaic of diversity. Like the myriad plants that make up our incredible, imperiled Coastal Sage Scrub, my family and my community is made up of people from diverse backgrounds.

The horrifying murders in Georgia, and indeed, the shocking hate crimes against people of Asian descent across the country, make it all the more critical for us all to stand together.

As a mom, the safety of my children always comes first. And as the mother of two children of Chinese descent, these stories hit especially close to home. My Chinese-American daughter will be fetishized at some point in her life. My Chinese-American son will be marginalized less, and I hate to say this, but it’s true, because he looks more Caucasian.

Guest Column Stop Asian Hate

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If not us, who? Hallie is flanked by daughter Em and son Kai

My heart hurts when I think of my ex-in-laws, who will always be family, and the risk they’re faced with by just walking out their front doors.

As the executive director of a conservation organization, I once struggled to understand the role an environmental organization plays in racial injustice. Is it my place to take a stand for equality?

If not me, who?

If not Laguna Canyon Foundation, who?

And if not now, when?

At what point will we, together, stand up and say no more? What will it take for us to recognize that every human, every living being is worthy of respect and kindness?

I’m not always going to get the language right. I’ll say things awkwardly and I’ll stumble over my words. But silence is no longer an option.

When I see people on the trails, nine times out of 10 I am greeted with a smile and a hello. Sometimes that hello comes in heavily accented English. Sometimes it’s a silent wave and smiling eyes above a COVID-era mask.

These trails, and our open space bring us together. Wilderness reminds us of the importance of diversity, in our communities and in our ecosystems.

If not me, who?

If not now, when?

Here are some links to visit to Stop Asian Hate: AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund; Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). 


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