These past days have been a humbling experience. I know I’ve hurt you and your anger is totally justified. I've been doing a lot of listening and self-reflecting. The first thing that I want to say is that by no means do I condone or defend my actions in that video. What I did was racially insensitive and ignorant. To say it was “stupid” is an understatement and I take full responsibility for my actions.
Most importantly, I sincerely apologize for the pain this has caused, especially to those in the Asian community. While nothing can change what I did or said in that video, this has been an opportunity for me to make changes in my life moving forward.
Today, I want to share with you that I’ve committed myself to taking meaningful actions to make a positive impact and play my role in being part of the solution. I will put the hard work in.
I’ve decided to actively and financially support anti-Asian hate organizations with a $100,000 donation. One of the national organizations that I will be supporting is Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC). Because change always starts at home, I am pursuing volunteer opportunities with local community organizations here in Miami that support the Asian community. I am also committing to continue to learn and invest in my own self-education through courses at AAJC because I don’t want to hurt anyone ever again in the way I did.
To hold myself accountable in my commitment to being part of the solution, I’ve signed the “Stand with Asian Americans” pledge to actively support their movement to end discrimination and violence against the Asian and all marginalized communities.
And as an artist, I will continue to support #CoverTheHate by providing free cover ups of hate symbols and racist tattoos, which I have been doing for years. (I’ll be posting links to these great organizations should you want to contribute to or learn more about their missions.)
I pledge to be a voice in addressing these issues inside and outside the tattoo industry. For me, this commitment will be to a way of life moving forward – not a milestone. Nothing is more important to me than setting an example for those around me, especially for my two-year-old daughter, and inspiring her to be the person I want her to be - a person who accepts accountability, celebrates diversity and is helping to be part of the solution.
I certainly recognize that we will not change the world with a keyboard as the world needs action and unity in solving these social issues.
This is just a starting point. I will continue to listen, learn, and be an ally.