A candid conversation.
On Wednesday, March 31's all-new Just the Sip, E!'s Erin Lim Rhodes opened up to host Justin Sylvester about how the March 16 spa shooting in Atlanta, which took the lives of six Asian women and two others, and other hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander community have affected her and the world at large. Per Lim Rhodes, the fatal incident that occurred earlier this month has made many realize that the hate the AAPI community has faced is more than "a minor bullying thing."
"I think it opened a lot of eyes where people were thinking, 'Oh this Asian hate thing is maybe just like a minor bullying thing. Like no one's actually being attacked. This is not a hate crime, this is not a racially charged crime,'" she stated. "And it's like, OK, it one hundred percent is. And I think that people on both sides can finally wake up and say, 'OK, we have a problem here.'"
The E! personality, who identifies as half-Asian and half-Latina, is just the latest public figure to speak out against the appalling crimes committed against the AAPI community. Everyone from Sandra Oh to Ashley Park to John Legend to Bella Hadid have used their platforms to support the stop of Asian hate. Thus, Lim Rhodes said it was "nice to know that people who don't look like me have my back."
The entertainment journalist went on to call on listeners to become aware of what the AAPI community is facing. "We're not asking for performative activism, like that's the furthest thing," she relayed. "We're just asking you to not be sitting around playing cards and showing that you're oblivious to what's happening."
Later on, Lim Rhodes encouraged those tuning in to "stick up for what you believe in." For those who may not fully understand either the Black Lives Matter movement or the fight the AAPI community is facing, Lim Rhodes acknowledged that "it takes proximity for people understand."
"If you have no relationship or affiliation with a person of color or a person who's Black, you're not going to really understand," she further explained. "You're not going to be able to walk into those shoes or even have those hard conversations, you know? Like me having hard conversations with family members was because, 'Look, I love you and I'm willing to have this conversation. I want you to understand why I'm passionately fighting for this.' That's all you can really ask for at the minimum, is for someone to really just understand. We are walking this walk hand in hand and we will fight these injustices."
If anything Lim Rhodes said resonated or motivated you, be sure to check out SIPA, a nonprofit organization that supports Pilipino Americans and others.
"This is a nonprofit organization that is based in historic Filipinotown and what I love about what they are doing is they are talking about organizations that are helping elderly Asian communities who are too afraid to go outside of their homes to even get dinner because they are being attacked," Lim Rhodes shared. "So, they are providing hot meals, they are telling you where to go to donate for that. They are posting about mental health resources because, right now, a lot of people are just so exhausted from trying to educate others or they just don't know how to feel with being in their Asian bodies right now. They talk about mental health and they are trying to strengthen the community."
For all of this and more, be sure to listen to Lim Rhodes' full Just the Sip appearance above.