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

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: New hospital shouldn’t charge for parking

Paying a parking meter is the last thing people visiting a hospital should have to worry about.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Asparagus root, dug up from the old patch and ready to be transplanted. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Some tips on growing asparagus

When choosing asparagus I recommend buying male plants for juicier, plumper spears.

If you’re looking for a goat time, visit Russell Farms Market! (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Looking for a goat time on Good Friday

If you drive by the farm market a little slower you see the goat pen.

The McCloskey-Hydro Rain Garden, located in a sunny Hydro corridor and receiving about 2.5 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from the roof of nearby McCloskey Elementary School. (Deborah Jones photo)
A&E column: From nature to poetry to puppets, there’s plenty afoot

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment scene

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Most Read