A call for unity, dialogue and understanding: A message from Vania King
As we see the continuation of hate crimes in our country, the shooting in Laguna Woods at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church congregation punctuates the senselessness of hatred and violence. Victims are children, parents, and grandparents—all with so much more in common than differences. As a Taiwanese American born and raised in Southern California, this incident hits close to home and has made my family and I peel back a vulnerability that makes us wonder where we can truly be safe.
As a child of Taiwanese immigrants, my parents came to the United States to build a better future for themselves and their family. My mother’s family came from generations of Han-based Chinese that lived in Taiwan for hundreds of years. My father’s family came from the Fujian province of China with the Democratic Republic of China after they ceded control of the country to the People’s Republic of China after World War II. Traditionally, we have argued about whether we are “Pro United” or “Pro Independent.”
However, as much as we may differ in opinions, we always place our love and value as humans, fellow citizens, brothers and sisters, before our personal concerns. Ultimately, we are all Americans and trying our best to build a better life for ourselves, the ones we love, and our society. That is what makes the recent shooting in Laguna Woods so heartbreaking.
I condemn this act and all other acts of violence and hatred and share my grief and sadness for the victims, their families, the congregation, and the Taiwanese community. I recognize the steely bravery that the congregation displayed in the face of incomprehensible violence—anti-Asian violence, which has alarmingly increased in our country. As such, I call for unity, dialogue, and understanding to prevail.
Two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Vania King reached a career-high doubles ranking of world No. 3 in 2011 and also had a Top-50 singles career on the WTA Tour. Over the course of her 15-year professional career, the Monterey Park, Calif. native reached the third round of all four Grand Slams in singles, represented the U.S. in Billie Jean King Cup play, and won Wimbledon and the US Open in doubles in 2010. After retiring as a player last year, she was elected to the USTA Board of Directors, and recently founded her own non-profit organization, Serving Up Hope.