The wedding of former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, right, and Eileen Park was featured in Vogue Magazine last week. (Mathias Fast photography)

The wedding of former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, right, and Eileen Park was featured in Vogue Magazine last week. (Mathias Fast photography)

Eileen Park faced ‘avalanche of anti-Asian hate’ after marrying ex-Vancouver mayor

The Korean-American journalist wed Gregor Robertson and relocated to Vancouver

Eileen Park has gone public about an “avalanche of anti-Asian hate” after her wedding to former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson was featured in Vogue.

Along with international acclaim, she said came “sickening” comments including people accusing Robertson of having “yellow fever” and other racist remarks about Park’s Korean heritage.

“The amount of disgusting direct messages and mentions I got, as a result, made me ill. The fetishization of Asian women is racist. Why? Because it dehumanizes and targets us,” she said in a video posted to social media Sunday.

Vogue’s March issue was published the same week six women of Asian descent were killed at the hands of a white gunman who targeted Atlanta-area massage parlors.

The shooting sent a wave of terror through the Asian-American community – prompting Asian women across the globe to go public with their experiences with racism and sexual harassment.

RELATED: Asian women say Atlanta shootings point to relentless, racist tropes

“For too long, Asian women all over the world, like me, have had to keep quiet and eat our own bitterness, and I just can’t keep quiet anymore,” the former journalist said.

Park, who is Korean-America, said she and Robertson met at a climate summit in Copenhagen in 2019 when she was communications director for Portland’s mayor. At the time, Robertson was an ambassador for the Global Covenant of Mayors.

The now-wife said she experienced racism while working in politics and when she was a reporter.

“It can be anything as small as someone saying ‘where are you really from’ or it can be something as big as someone spreading a rumour about you in a professional setting saying ‘you must have slept your way to the top’ just by virtue of being an Asian woman,” she said.

“Covert racism (is) these microaggressions, these everyday microaggressions that happen to women.”

RELATED: Atlanta-area shootings leave 8 dead, many of Asian descent



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

racismsexual harassmentShooting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read