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After Shootings, Hawaii Five-0 Actor Daniel Dae Kim Took His Thoughts About Anti-Asian Violence All The Way To Congress

Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) stares on in Hawaii Five-O
(Image credit: Hodinkee Youtube)

You may know him as the lovesick husband on Lost or the level-headed detective from Hawaii Five-0 but, in real-life, actor Daniel Dae Kim is also an advocate for justice. Following the Atlanta shootings this past week, Kim appealed to Congress about the rise of anti-Asian violence in America.

At a Congressional House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Daniel Dae Kim virtually addressed the representatives and asked for the passage of the No Hate Bill and the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. Per Deadline, Kim said:

I was disheartened to find that for a bill that required no money or resources, just a simple condemnation of acts of hate against people of Asian descent, 164 members of Congress, all Republican voted against it. And now here I am again, because as every witness in this hearing has pointed out, the situation has gotten worse, much worse.

The situation that Daniel Dae Kim refers to in his address is the growing number of occurrences of violence and hate against Asian Americans. There have been numerous reports of attacks against Asian American citizens across the country as of late, many of which involve the elderly. Many believe the attacks directly correlate with the rise in racist rhetoric aimed at Asians in regard to the coronavirus pandemic. The latest tragic event in this growing patten was an incident in Atlanta, Georgia, which saw the murder of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, by a white man.

The situation received even more attention after the Cherokee County sheriff's spokesperson gave a statement to the press, saying the alleged killer was having “a really bad day” and that the murders were not racially motivated. In response to the officer’s statement, Daniel Dae Kim said this to the subcommittee:

You know when I have a bad day, I think about going home and having a beer and watching a movie with my family. I don’t think about going out and murdering eight people.

The Hawaii Five-0 actor also participated in a roundtable interview for Asian entertainers recently that included the likes of Olivia Munn, George Takei and Hari Kondabolu, to name a few, addressing the ongoing plight of Asian Americans. Takei noted that racism against Asians has a long history that dates to Japanese internment camps during World War II and beyond. The panel also discussed the need for further and deeper Asian representation in media, as well as the need for solidarity between the various minority groups. Daniel Dae Kim said at the panel:

It's about pushing the boundaries in your respective fields, whether it's acting, directing, producing, or all of the above — do whatever you're able to do to push this boundary. Keep this as part of your agenda because that's the only way it's going to get further. The people who are just starting in this business are not in positions like we are where we can make change and ask for things on a daily basis in the jobs that we have. So it's up to those of us who can to do. And that's how a wave it gets formed.

It is disheartening to think that in many cases, necessary change and conversation happen only after shocking tragedies, as with the recent shootings in Atlanta. But perhaps we can all take a page out of the book of veteran actor Daniel Dae Kim, and others like him, by being proactive for causes that matter.

Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.