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

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Restaurant operators like Canteen on the Green’s Julie Stevens are serving up food outside these days or offering takeout. (Photo by Don Bodger)
High job numbers seem overly rosy

Hard to believe there’s so much more employment in hardest hit sectors

Addition of greenery, tables and benches looks good along Chemainus Road. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Finishing touches down to the nitty gritty on Chemainus Road

Just a few minor adjustments yet to be made on extensive project

Chemainus Art Group creates mural mosaic to celebrate a joyful spring. (Photo submitted)
Art group members celebrate a joyful spring in Chemainus

Each of 33 squares pushed together into one mural

Savanah Sanchez with a likeness of herself in a Canucks’ uniform done by her mom Jessica. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Girl’s passion for hockey knows no bounds

No games, but extensive ice time for training beneficial to Sanchez

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read