As the violence against Asian-Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) continues, and specifically against AAPI elders, more and more celebrities have come forward to share their thoughts on the situation. But as one SNL cast member recently shared, celebrities don’t have all the answers. Yet, that made his words all the more worthwhile.
In this past weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, Bowen Yang spoke on the situation happening across the United States. Yang, who became the first gay, Asian cast member of the long-running late-night live variety and sketch comedy show, appeared on the Weekend Update segment to ask that people “Do more.”
“What can I say to help how insanely bad things are?” he asked. “If someone’s personality is, ‘punch an Asian grandma,’ it’s not a dialogue. I have an Asian grandma, you want to punch her? There ain’t no common ground, mama.”
Just came upon an attack on an elderly Asian woman on Market Street San Francisco. Effort I got more details pic.twitter.com/5o8r0eeHE2
— Dennis O'Donnell (@DennisKPIX) March 17, 2021
Here, Yang is referencing the case of Xiao Zhen Xie. The 75-year-old San Francisco citizen was randomly attacked earlier this month while walking on Market Street. After being punched by a stranger, Xiao Zhen Xie defended herself with a wooden board. A GoFundMe campaign for the victim rose a million dollars and she announced plans to donate it all back to her community.
While the idea of donating somewhere is nice, Yang argues that more has to be done.
“Why are you telling me that you tipped your manicurist well? Let me know when you get on your knees and scrub her feet while she looks at your phone. Do more,” he said. “I’m just a comedian. I don’t have the answers, but I’m not just looking for them online. I’m looking around me.”
It’s then that Yang noted that he doesn’t have all the answers. But, he argues that a fighting spirit and the drive to fight racism is what we all need to start the change.
“I don’t know what’s helpful to say to everyone, but that’s what I say to myself,” he said. “Fuel up. Do more. It’s the year of the metal ox, which basically means a car. So everyone, get in, buckle up! It’s no pee breaks! We ride at dawn, grandmas!”
You can watch the full speech below.