AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin restaurant built on the American dream is taking a stand against anti-Asian hate crimes.
In light of the recent attack on multiple Atlanta spas that killed eight people, six of them Asian women, Seoulju Korean Kitchen & Bar on North Lamar posted the message below on its Facebook page:
It said, “Our restaurant was built on an American dream. Our mom immigrated to the U.S. and worked many jobs before owning her own business. The story of an Asian immigrant should be celebrated, not hated on. These cowardly attacks on Asian elders and Asian minorities has got to stop!”
That’s why the restaurant decided to donate half of its sales this weekend to a GoFundMe supporting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to ‘#StopAsianHate.’
John Lee is the owner Seoulju. What happened in Atlanta breaks his heart.
“It’s a scary thing to go out there, knowing it could be me, my son, or my wife, parents or in-laws,” Lee said.
Thinking about his family, he knew he had to stand in solidarity.
“The victims who have been assaulted or killed, they don’t have enough resources to figure out what to do,” Lee said.
And an increase in anti-Asian crimes is taking a toll.
“We’re devastated,” Darlene Lanham, executive director for Asian Family Support Services of Austin said. “There’s fear. We’ve been doing a lot more intensive safety planning.”
Lanham said they’re providing counseling and other resources, saying standing together is what makes the community resilient.
As Lee goes into the weekend honoring the lives lost in Atlanta, he hopes his family can make even a small impact.
“He [the Atlanta shooter] took mothers, wives, daughters,” he said.
Lee said he does feel supported by the Austin community and hopes that support continues. Feeling uplifted is another reason he said he feels the need to give back.
Though Seoulju is still only operating at 50% capacity, takeout orders will also be donated to support Asian American resources.
An Associated Press analysis found the number of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ and other hateful messages spread through flyers, stickers, banners and posters nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020.
The Asian Family Support Services of Austin said it’s important to have support from all community members. If you’d like to talk to someone, here’s the 24/4 hour hotline number: 1 (877) 281-8371.
The organization said it is always looking for volunteers as well.