Hate Has No Home Here

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – While the attacks of women, of Korean decent working in Asian massage parlors, in Atlanta raise concerns with the Northeast Wisconsin Asian American population, one local police department is using the situation for outreach – to promote a message of “No Hate”.

Less than a month after last year’s coronavirus lockdown began, an Asian grocery store in Green Bay fell victim to vandalism, the store’s van spray painted with graffiti. It was was just one of many race-based attacks on the Asian American community across the country.

Tuesday’s attack on women working in Asian massage parlors in Atlanta has raised some concerns for the safety of Asian Americans. “We’re hoping that these things would stop,” says Mee Yang, President of the Hmong Service Center in Oshkosh. She adds, “We’re looking to have both local, state and federal leaders address the issue as it’s becoming worse and worse for about a year now.”

Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas did address the issue, taking to social media in light of the attacks in Atlanta, despite not knowing the motive. In a “Hate has no Home Here” message, the chief talked directly to the Asian American community. Ones that has been rooted in Northeast Wisconsin for generations. “When we saw what happened yesterday, we knew that would cause a lot of fear in our Asian American community members, so we felt it was appropriate. It really was an opportunity for us to get this message out to them, to hopefully calm their fears and let them know that that they’re safe here,” says Chief Thomas.

Members of the local Asian American population say they do feel welcome and accepted here. And while they have concerns, they don’t necessarily fear for the safety. But, they would like to open dialogues for better understanding. Yang adds, “We would be glad to discuss anything related to the Hmong community or anything else that we can help or we need to work with.”

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