"What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence!"
Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Wu Ong is speaking out about racism by wearing a Stop Asian Hate outfit.
In a post on Instagram, Ong shared an image of herself draped in a red and white cape, symbolizing Singapore’s flag, with the words “Stop Asian Hate.”
The 27-year-old wrote in the caption, “What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence! Thank you #MissUniverse for giving me this opportunity!”
Paulo Espinosa hand-painted the costume, which was designed by Arwin Meriales.
“The red represents equality for all. White symbolises everlasting virtue. Singapore is a place for all races and they are very proud to be Asian.”
Ong also revealed that the costume was made in just two days. “I reached out to Filipino designer @arwin_meriales04 to create a design of my own and he executed! When he offered to get @kuyapawlo to hand paint something at the back I knew straight away that it had to be about the movement revolving racial spite and prejudice!”
“Given the slim timeframe we had to get it sent from the Philippines to Singapore before I flew out to the US, I’d say this is a HUGE win for everyone! We got our message across loud and clear! Thanks for roaring back at us with love and praise!”
Ong is the reigning Miss Singapore and is competing for the title of Miss Universe.
There has been a recent rise in attacks against Asians including charges against the man who spat at and punched an 83-year-old Korean grandmother have been dropped.
Elsewhere, the president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce was racially abused and physically attacked. The suspect has since been arrested.
Additionally, three people were arrested for a burglary spree targeting 26 Asian business owners in Colorado and Wyoming in 2019.
An Asian father was also attacked in San Francisco whilst walking his 1-year-old child and an Asian American teen was left concussed after being punched at a basketball game in Oakland.
In San Francisco, an 85-year-old Asian grandmother and a 65-year-old Asian woman were stabbed whilst waiting for the bus.
An Asian shop owner was also punched in the face by a racist customer in Washington DC.
Meanwhile, an 11-year-old and 17-year-old were arrested for attacking and robbing an 80-year-old Asian man in San Leandro.
Most recently, an Asian store owner and his son were stabbed by a customer who refused to wear a face mask in Tacoma.
Elsewhere, San Francisco murals celebrating Asian culture were defaced by a man on multiple occasions.
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