How a racist voicemail brought KARE anchor Gia Vang into the t-shirt business (temporary) – Twin Cities

On New Year’s Day, the TV presenter in St. Louis, Michelle Li, did a 30-second segment about the different foods people eat on New Year’s Day. She ended by saying that she, like many Koreans, ate dumpling soup.

The seemingly innocuous footage prompted one viewer to leave a voicemail at the station criticizing Li for being “very Asian” and telling her to “keep Korean to herself.” The woman also suggested that a white anchor would be fired for talking about what white people eat in the new year.

Gia wine. (Courtesy of KARE 11)

Li posted a video of herself listening to the message on social media and it quickly went viral, thanks in part to KARE-TV host Gia Vang’s suggestion to change the sentence. Chatting intended to be a proud hashtag: #VeryAsian. Asian-Americans, both celebrities and others, as well as supporters have flooded social media with positive responses and numerous photos of people happily eating dumpling soup.

Vang said: “We wanted to move it to another dimension. “I’m trying to back up those words and I can see the reaction people are getting on that.”

On Twitter, Li asked if people were interested in the #VeryAsian shirt. The positive feedback prompted Li to work with Vang to create the website veryasian.us. It launched Tuesday with a selection of #VeryAsian t-shirts, hats and sweatshirts for sale, with all proceeds going to the Asian American Journalists Association.

“In the first 24 hours, we had more than 1,300 orders,” says Vang. “And it really spiked from there.”

Originally, the couple planned to deliver these items in two weeks, but they had so many orders that they decided to cut that time in half. Sales will be closed at noon on Tuesday.

Vang said: “It was overwhelming, but very good.

Vang first met Li through social media. The pair bonded after a shooting in March in Atlanta that left six Asian women dead, just one of many attacks targeting Asian Americans since the pandemic began.

Vang said: “We had a connection and a sisterhood, being Asian and also journalists. “I love that we are turning this into a positive after such a negative year for Asian Americans. We come together as a collective to celebrate our pride and identity. “

Even though the t-shirt sales end on Tuesday, the site will remain active.

“We have been openly talking about this not just as a moment or a hashtag, but as a movement,” Vang said. “We have a million ideas and haven’t honed in on what’s going to happen next, but this feels good.”

https://www.twincities.com/2022/01/07/how-a-racist-voicemail-got-kare-anchor-gia-vang-into-the-t-shirt-business-temporarily/ How a racist voicemail brought KARE anchor Gia Vang into the t-shirt business (temporary) – Twin Cities


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