The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Crystal Kung Minkoff believes Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders can no longer stay silent amid the increase in reported hate crimes against their communities.
Crystal took part in Bravo's Amplify Our Voices: An Open Dialogue on Being AAPI in America via Instagram Live on Thursday, March 25. The Real Housewives of Dallas' Dr. Tiffany Moon and Top Chef's Melissa King also participated in the discussion, which was hosted by MSNBC's Richard Lui.
In her powerful comments, Crystal admitted "Asian-American hate and racism is not new" but that "you can't help but notice" the rise in anti-Asian sentiment in the United States since the start of the pandemic.
"I believe that this is a political—it's toxic—influence that is part of the reason for this uptick in violence," the 35-year-old entrepreneur shared. "So I think that we cannot ignore it anymore, and we have been, as we've discussed, this model minority, right? That we've been silent, and we put our head to the ground, we work hard, we just keep moving forward. And when you see such blatant attacks and violence, we cannot be silent anymore."
She continued, "So this is really about having open dialogues, right? Using our platforms, whether it's Instagram and Instagram Lives like these, or just discussing it with your family or your friends. It's about sharing our experiences, and that's how we move forward."
Tiffany agreed and added, "Like Crystal said, we will not be silent anymore. This is not new, but it has intensified. We are fed up."
Looking back, Tiffany also recalled not knowing English in the first grade and having to go to ESL for half of the school day. "I was called a variety of names, which I will not repeat," she said of the bullying she endured, which included getting her glasses stomped on by a fellow student. She later went home and lied to her mom about how they broke.
That feeling, she said, is something that's still raw today. "I feel it from patients, I feel it from eyes in the grocery store," she said. "I work in a hospital, I'm trying to help people. And to be discriminated against while I'm trying to help others is really disheartening."
During the Instagram Live, Melissa also recalled how her brother-in-law was racially slurred at while out at a grocery store in March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic. "It was ongoing without the year for me with personal friends in the restaurant industry that have had their restaurants vandalized," Melissa shared, "have had employees get attacked for walking home at night."
"It's personal," Melissa added. "It's very upsetting when I hear these stories with people that I know and care about where these incidences are happening."
The full discussion can be seen in the above Instagram post.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)