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Lana Condor is using her platform to educate people on violence against the Asian-American community, and she needs everyone to listen up. In a new interview with Shape magazine, the 24-year-old actress opened up about why she'll never stay silent about AAPI hate and that she felt many people are "in denial" about the severity of violence against Asian-Americans.
"Even some of my close friends weren't aware of what was going on. I needed to let people know what was happening," Lana told Shape. "Speaking up is important. It's easy to be a bystander, but you could save a life if you stand up for someone."
Throughout the past year, Lana has openly been supportive of others in the Asian community. During the height of anti-Asian hate crimes in March, she tweeted a message to her followers. "Wake up... your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry," the tweet read.
Wake up... your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. Please please please check in on us, please please please stand with us. Please. Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren’t publicly grieving on social media. x
— Lana Condor (@lanacondor) March 17, 2021
In the interview, Lana also echoed the sentiment of her tweets, saying how much communication means to the Asian community during hard times.
"When I speak with other people [in the Asian community], we grieve together, then we pick each other up and tell each other to keep going because that's the only thing to do," she said. "You keep going or you stop. To me, stopping is not an option."
According to a report from Stop AAPI Hate, there were 3,795 recorded incidents of anti-Asian hate between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021. The same report reveals that 68.1% of these incidents were verbal harassment. It's likely that the actual number of incidents — including those that have not been recorded — is much higher.
Lana became a household name thanks to Netflix's film adaptations of Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before series, where her role of Lara Jean Covey represented the culture of young Asian girls. Since then, Lana said she's been "very calculated" about any projects she takes on. "I want to continue to show people who look like me that they can do whatever they want to, regardless of what someone might have told them," she told Shape.
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