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Rally in Columbus supports Asian Americans

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Nearly a hundred people gathered at Columbus City Hall on Thursday to express support for Asian Americans and condemn hate crimes committed against them.

The event was organized two weeks after an 18-year-old Indiana University student was stabbed as she exited a Bloomington Transit bus in what authorities say was a hate crime.

“What happened to this girl in Bloomington should never have happened. She was targeted because of her race, and while the thought of that makes me anxious, I feel like it’s up to us to make sure that something like this never happens in Columbus,” said Columbus City Councilwoman Eliane Hilber.

The rally was organized by Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs.

“We feel that if we stand in silence and if we don’t together act to support each other, that creates a sense of tolerance for hateful types of behavior,” said APAPA Indiana Chapter Board Member Joy Basa-King.

Mayor Jim Lienoop said 20% of the more than 50,000 people living in Columbus were born in another country, and his city embraces that diversity.

“We have an event each fall that we call Ethnic Expo, the whole idea around that event is to celebrate the diversity that is here in Columbus. We also celebrated as I mentioned the Chinese New Year, we celebrate the Diwali and a couple other Indian celebrations.”

Those who spoke out at this rally emphasized a vital point: say something if you see someone getting bullied or harassed because it could make a significant difference.