A Korean American mother of two began the heartbreaking conversation regarding anti-Asian violence with her children following the devastating Atlanta shootings that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
Jane Park, mother of Bennett, 7, and Ruby, 5, said prior to last week, she hadn’t addressed mass shootings ever.
“It really does scare me,” the Seattle mom told TODAY Parents. “And Bennett, my 7-year-old, is in first grade now. I worked as a local new reporter and I remember the Sandy Hook shootings, so he’s at the age of those children.”
“He saw me reacting to the news, so given the climate and the rise in anti-Asian racism, I did address it and tell him,” she said. “I said, ‘You know, the victims were Asian American and they could have been an aunt, a grandmother’ — you know, contextualizing it in that manner.”
Park, who has 3 million followers on TikTok, decided to use her platform as a teaching moment for her children.
In the viral video, Park uses notecards and asks her kids if they are ready for another “sight word test,” — something they do a lot on her channel.
“There’s a message in this one, so I want you to think about it, OK,” she says in the video, before holding up cards for her kids that read: “Stop Asian hate. Hate is a virus.”
After reading the sentence out loud together, Park explains to her children that like a virus, hate can infect people. She then asks them how exactly they felt about the recent acts of targeted violence.
“Sad, because they killed people. They killed Asian people,” Bennett can be heard replying.
The clip ends with Park informing her children the importance of being vocal about racism and hate crimes.
“We can speak out against it. We can talk about it. We can build awareness, right? Because not everyone might know what’s going on.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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