“We must understand, as Asian-Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, ‘Help me and I’m here,'” the 49-year-old actress added. “And just for one thing, I am proud to be Asian! I belong here! Many of us don’t get that chance to be able to say that, so I just wanted to give us an opportunity to be able to shout that. Thank you so much.”
Following her speech, Sandra’s former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Ellen Pompeo showed her support. “You belong here [red heart emoji],” she wrote on Twitter on Sunday, March 21, “love her.”
Sandra’s moving speech comes less than a week after a white man, Robert Aaron Long, 21, was charged with eight counts of murder and homicide and one count of aggravated assault on Wednesday, March 17, per NBC News. He is accused of killing eight people, six of which were Asian women, in three shootings at Atlanta-area spas on Tuesday, March 16.
NBC News reported that the suspect told local law enforcement that he had a sexual addiction and saw the businesses as a temptation he needed to eliminate.