Anti-Asian hate motivates young leaders to act
The startling pattern of anti-Asian hate in the United States is motivating some young local leaders to act.
In the past month, there have been several anti-Asian hate rallies that have brought out thousands across Westchester.
The organizers have been teenagers who say they have felt the prejudice firsthand.
They mark a new generation of Asian Americans speaking up - and they're setting the course for real tangible change.
Cat Caley, a Fox Lane High School junior and Raghav Joshi, a junior from Rye Brook High School, are straddling two worlds - their Asian heritage and their American upbringing.
Caley was adopted from Hubei, China at the age of 1.
"I still consider myself from Bedford Hills, New York, so when they're like 'where are you really from?' It's just like, the same place as you," she says.
As president of the Fox Lane Asian Culture club, Caley organized the rally in Bedford after coming to a realization following a rally in Ardsley organized by another local teen.
"Wait, these are high school students just like me. We should do something like this," she says.
Over in Pleasantville, Joshi sprang into action, despite pushback from his extended family in India.
"It's kind of like, don't get yourself involved in this kind of mess. But that's the point, right? You're trying to fix a society that is messy," he says.
The rally he organized in Pleasantville even garnered the support of Sen. Chuck Schumer and several local lawmakers.
"I think the key is to show your passion. This is something we need the presence of elected leaders who will fight to make the change for us," says Joshi.
Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passing a bill to strengthen police response to anti-Asian hate crimes.
"For every one of those bigots, there are 10,000 of us to stand up for them," said Schumer.
The teens are in a united front against hate, and a new generation of Asian-Americans speaking up - raised in a culture where the norm in their parents' generation was to work hard and stay quiet.
"This is a fight for people of my age, of my community to finally get the justice they deserve," says Joshi.