A baby’s first holiday is a special milestone that should be filled with exceptional joy. But for children celebrating their first Lunar New Year, there was also a tremendous amount of grief. In an emotional Instagram post on Monday, Jeannie Mai Jenkins encompassed what many in the AAPI community are likely feeling.
“It’s surreal that I spent this weekend celebrating one of the most significant times of the year for my Vietnamese American heritage,” the television host said. “From dressing [my daughter] Monaco for her first Lunar New Year to attending my dear friend @therealphilliplim gathering, we honored our cultures in the midst of such horrific violence of not one, but two mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.”
On Saturday, 11 people were killed and nine were injured in a shooting during a Lunar New Year celebration in a dance studio in Monterey Park, California. The 72-year-old gunman, Huu Can Tran, has since died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
On Monday, seven people were killed and one critically injured in shootings at two locations in Half Moon Bay, California. The 67-year-old suspect, Zhao Chunli, is in custody.
“I am gutted for the families whose lives are forever changed,” Jenkins continued. “This Year of the Rabbit symbolizes peace, prosperity, and longevity. This is everything we work and fight for in the face of such inhumanity.”
“I am grateful for you, Jeannie!,” commented composer Chloe Flower. “You have always given me (and our community) so much strength.”
“Sweet Monaco is an angel, I love you sis ❤️ and forever grateful for our community – we will get through this together 🧧🙏🏽,” wrote fashion designer Phillip Lim who hosted a Lunar New Year celebration that Jenkins attended.
Jenkins posed with Flower, Lim, and others in some of the photos she shared. She also shared precious photos and videos of Monaco wearing a pink Ao Dai set and holding red envelopes which are used to give monetary gifts during holidays and celebrations.
“Such a Sweetheart! 💖💖💖🌸🌸🌸” Frank Cintamani, president of the Asian Couture Federation, said about the 1-year-old.
Jenkins is not letting the tragedies stand in the way of Monaco’s upbringing.
“Still, it strengthens my passion to raise Monaco in the beauty of her heritage and all that we seek to cultivate in this season. Please join me in taking action to support the families devastated by these heinous crimes by visiting my bio link for a verified fundraiser sponsored by @advancingjusticesocal 🙏.”
People can donate to the fund by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/monterey-park-lunar-new-year-victims-fund.
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