Joanna Gaines is opening up about the racism her family experienced while she was growing up.
The interior designer star, 42, was raised in Texas by her Korean mother, Nan, and her father who is of German and Lebanese descent.
Gaines reflected on her childhood and her mother’s strength of character in a recent Instagram post that celebrated her book, “The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be.” It’s being translated into Korean, her mother’s first language.
“To see the words of my book translated into my mother’s first language is such an honor for me,” the lifestyle guru said.
“I remember as a little girl being out with my mom and seeing how in a moment, a person’s harsh look or an underhanded comment would attempt to belittle her rich story and her beautiful culture,” Gaines described.
“We can’t take lightly the power that our words and actions carry. The world needs who we were ALL made to be and all the amazing and beautiful differences we each bring with us,” she continued. “Maybe if we say it enough, it will ring true and become the message that softens even the hardest of hearts.”
In the book, Gaines wrote even more about being biracial.
“My mom is full Korean and my dad is Caucasian,” she said. “Kids in kindergarten would make fun of me for being Asian, and when you’re that age you don’t know really how to process that; the way you take that is, ‘Who I am isn’t good enough.’ Fast forward to today and my Korean heritage is one of the things I’m most proud of. I’m trying to make up for that lost time — the culture is just so beautiful. I think discovering who you are and what you were made to do is a lifelong journey.”
There has been an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes over the past year.
There were 3,795 reported incidents between March 2020 and February 2021, according to Stop AAPI Hate.
Asian American communities around the country are still reeling after a gunman killed eight people at three separate massage parlors in Atlanta on Tuesday.
The shooter, 21, was charged with eight counts of murder, four of which were carried out at a Cherokee County massage parlor. The other shootings occurred at two other locations. Six people of Asian American descent were among the dead.
Officials have stressed that the investigation is ongoing, and authorities have not yet made an official determination as to the motive of the attacks — including whether they were racially motivated — at this time.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.