Asian American Child Subjected To Racism During Zoom Meeting, Community Rallies Together To Uplift And Protect Her

Despite the hurtful words she experienced, she still saw the good in the person who said it.

A 7-year-old girl known as LittleGray experienced racism from her classmates during a Zoom meeting. The classmate in question was a friend of hers, who said during the meeting that he “doesn’t like China and Chinese people.”

Source: LittleGrayThread/Instagram

Although LittleGray’s teacher did what she could to diffuse the situation, the damage was done and the hurt couldn’t be taken away. So, LittleGray’s mom encouraged her to write a letter about her feelings. Her letter, in its entirety below, reads:

When we did the Zoom meeting someone said that he doesn’t like China and Chinese people. This made me feel sad because he was my friend and I’m Chinese. I hope he will stop telling people that because it’s mean and wrong. It’s wrong because he doesn’t know what he is saying. No one knows how the virus started for sure. When you say that you don’t like Chinese people, your [sic] saying that you do not like me. I did not start this virus. Thank you for being my friend.

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Today was our first firsthand experience with Anti-Asian Racism related to Coronavirus. UPDATE: I did hear back from her teacher and the school is not taking this lightly. They are taking the necessary next steps and I am proud to be in this school district. . During her daily zoom meeting, one of LittleGray’s classmates (2nd grade) offhandedly said, “I don’t like China or Chinese people because they started this quarantine.” Her teacher diffused the situation as quickly and effectively as she could, but the damage was already done. . . What made it worse is that this person was one of her friends. . . I had two choices: let it gloss over or don’t pass up this teachable moment. Asians are often taught to stay silent and to not make waves, but I want to teach my daughters to stand up for what they believe in and speak up to things that are unjust. . . We talked about how this made her feel, and what she hopes that this person learns from this. I urged her to write down her feelings and gave her the option to share them. She didn’t want to share it with the person or the class, but she ironically didn’t mind sharing it to social media 🤣. I told her how there might be other people who are feeling the same way she is and that her words might give them courage to speak out. This is what her letter says: “When we did the zoom meeting, someone said that he doesn’t like China and Chinese people. This made me feel sad becuse I’m Chinese. I hope he will stop telling people that because it’s mean and wrong. It’s wrong because he doesn’t know what he is saying. No one knows how the virus started for sure. When you say that you don’t like Chinese people, you’re saying that you do not like me. I did not start this virus. Thank you for being my friend.” . . Please listen to my 7 year old. We are not the virus. Your children are listening to you and their words have consequences. Also, she thanks too for being her friend. . . #wearenotthevirus #representASIAN #coronavirus #covid19 #orangecounty #washthehate #iamnotcovid19 #racismisavirus

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News of LittleGray’s experience spread and soon, it was picked up by media outlets, such as the Today Show.

Asian American Girl Club also picked up on LittleGray’s story and they started the movement #AAGCLettersOfLove (Asian American Girl Club Letters Of Love).

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We need kindness more than ever right now. 💛 @franceswangtv ・・・ When Asians started being attacked verbally & physically around the world, my first thought went to how kids would be treated. Someone had written to me about how an Asian kid was physically assaulted with a ‘bat’ at school…I wondered & worried about how many bullying incidents would go unreported or unnoticed. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ This letter, written by a 7yo Asian-American girl, is so powerful and heartbreaking. A friend in her 2nd grade class said during their daily Zoom meeting: “I don’t like China or Chinese people because they started this quarantine.” ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣Her parents encouraged her to share her feelings & with her permission, they shared this on social media. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Kids are kids, but they are listening to what adults are saying at home or on TV. Let’s be kinder in the ways we treat each other and set an example for the kids & future generations ❤️⁣. #AsianAmerican #ProudToBeAsian #HealTheWorld #InThisTogether #teamaagc #asianamericangirlclub

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LittleGray’s letter and show of compassion and understanding toward her classmate has inspired others to continue the conversation with love and understanding.

If you’re interested in taking part in #AAGCLettersOfLove, you can DM your letter to Asian American Girl Club or use their hashtag! If you’d prefer sending in a video message, they are accepting entries that are a minute or less.

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We need your help team!!!!! A bit of a bright spot. I just had an incredibly powerful and positive conversation with @littlegraythread the mother of Leia, the 7 year old Asian American girl who so bravely shared her letter with the world. Her writings reflected on her thoughts after a Zoom class where one of her classmates had expressed that they “didn’t like China or Chinese people because they started this quarantine.” ⁣ ⁣ My heart breaks for Leia and it made me wonder how many other young people around the world are having similar experiences right now and not understanding why. And may feel alone. We’re reading about horrifying and inexcusable violent acts against Asian Americans but there are so many non violent interactions that may go unnoticed but can be just as traumatic.⁣ ⁣ Some of our girls asked if they could write an encouraging letter back to Leia. We thought this could be a beautiful way of letting her know she has a community of support who love her. So in honor of Leia, her sister Dinah and Jenielle we are launching the #AAGCLettersOfLove project. This is quick and on the fly because there’s no better time than the present to show our support! Let’s flood their family with some love and write out our own thoughts and feelings of positivity. We want to hear from you. ⁣ ⁣ To join the project, simply DM us a picture of your handwritten letter or drawn picture, note on your phone or recorded video diary (1 min or less) that you want to share with Leia, her sister Dinah, Jenielle or just to the world. Share your thoughts and fill it to the brim with love and positivity! Post and tag with #AAGCLettersofLove. We are doing this 100% virtually so we can avoid having to flood their home with physical mail. ⁣ ⁣ Writing is such a form of therapy and we know that we are so powerful when united. Thank you to Leia for being brave enough to start this chain of love! So proud of you always #TEAMAAGC. Xo, @allymaki ⁣

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