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

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