The Journal Gazette
Sunday, July 18, 2021 1:00 am

Golden Pen: June

Young activist sees issue in anti-Asian prejudice

I am an 11-year-old Asian American girl. My mom is Korean and I am half Korean. My mom reads the news a lot and tells me about things that are happening in our country, like anti-Asian American hate.

Since I am half Korean, I do not like how Asians are being treated. They are being treated poorly. For example, older Asian people are being attacked when they did nothing wrong. No one should be treating Asian Americans this way.

People who think that Chinese people are at fault for the COVID-19 pandemic need to open their eyes and figure out that it is no one's fault. If the COVID-19 pandemic had started in the U.S., would Americans blame themselves like they blame the Chinese? Of course not.

People need to stick up for Asian Americans. There are not many who do. Although I am just now starting middle school, I have decided to become an Asian American activist.

About the author

Eleven-year-old Lilly Roberts of Fort Wayne, whose letter appeared June 13, has been selected as the month's Golden Pen Award winner. In the judgment of the editors, she had June's most effective letter.

The soon-to-be sixth grader says her favorite subject is art. And she enjoys writing “when I get to choose what to write about.”

Lilly's busy summer has included a weeklong sleepover with her best friend, along with tennis camp and a Purdue Fort Wayne writing camp. Writing instructor Cheri Pruitt had high praise for Lilly and her letter.

“When I read her letter to the editor (before I met her),” said Pruitt in an email, “I saw a Golden Pen win in her future. Besides editorial writing, Lilly excels at creative writing and drawing. Her artwork (seen here) was chosen for the cover of this summer's Appleseed Elementary Writing Camp Anthology.”

Lilly said that in addition to the safety of her mother, she is “really concerned for her grandparents,” who live in Germany. She adds that those who target Asian Americans make her uncomfortable because their feelings and actions are directed “also at me.”

Lilly received a gold-plated pen for her efforts. The Golden Pen Award was established to express our appreciation for the contribution our letter writers make to the editorial page.

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