“Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March” pays tribute to the lives lost, examines the rise of anti-Asian racism, and documents a growing movement to fight back and stop the hate.
This one-hour documentary takes a deep dive into this critical moment of racial reckoning. It explores the need for better hate crime legislation, demands accountability from law enforcement, and chronicles a community as they break their silence to rise up against hate. Ultimately, it asks the crucial question of what’s next for Asian Americans, in the courts, in the voting booth, and in the streets.
Narrated by Sandra Oh. Original music by Jon Batiste and Cory Wong. Director of photography: Jia Li. Editors: Jenna Hill and Kimberly Tomes. Produced by Gina Kim. Directed and produced by Titi Yu.
The documentary premiered on PBS stations on Oct. 17. To view it online, go to: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/exploring-hate/films/rising-against-asian-hate-one-day-in-march/
The program contains mature content that may not be suitable for all audiences, including depictions of physical assault and the use of racial epithets.
A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
By JADA LENG
I had been waiting for what felt like an eternity, eager for this day to come. I was fully vaccinated and feeling upbeat, finally able to see my parents in person again. We wasted no time with smiles and hugs all around, but things got very real very fast.
My mom handed me a gift, it was brand new, in that impossible-to-open plastic packaging. As I looked down and wondered what to say, my mom broke the silence. “I have one too,” she said holding up her keychain. It was pepper spray.
Then it was my dad’s turn. He pulled out an orange flashlight and demonstrated its features, which included a blindingly bright light and a loud siren. He handed it to me and said, “Be careful.”
This wasn’t the reunion I had expected, but my parents gave me a very important reality check. The rise in reports of violence against Asians, Asian women in particular, is not about thinking “It could have been me, I’m so lucky it wasn’t.”
As a member of the AAPI community, for the times my mom would call me, upset and angry about racist comments or unprovoked mistreatment from strangers and for the horrible experiences I’ve gone through, this is not about being lucky.
We are not invisible, we can make a difference because that one day in March 2021, it became about all of us.