People demonstrate at a rally against Asian American hate in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Credit: Matt Rourke / AP

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

The topic of minority representation does not receive enough attention. I am an Asian international student, and as a minority, I have not faced any injustices through my six years of life in Maine. Yet, I have also never seen Asian representation of any sort in the state of Maine.

Given the  recent Asian-hate incidents, I personally believe that there is a strong need for Asians to voice their opinions and to involve themselves in local leadership. Asian communities have been around the United States ever since the California Gold Rush in the mid 1800s, and yet, almost 200 years later, we still rarely see major Asian American influence, leaving aside the Chinese restaurant industry.

Without influence, there will be no equality. Countless hate crimes against Asian have happened in our country, but the attention they receive is so little that most of us will end up not even hearing about them. As Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote in his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail, rights are not given, but demanded. Our voices will only be heard when we have influence. We can only defend ourselves from attacks if our words have weight. In order to create equality, Asian Americans must get involved in local communities and participate in political leadership.

Carson Yuan

Bangor