Brutal New York Attack Renews Asian American Volunteer Efforts

New York (AP) — Tired of constant attacks on Asian Americans, Stanley has recently begun to voluntarily patrol Chinatown in San Francisco. So, when a 53-year-old firefighter watched a video of a woman in New York City being brutally beaten, she saw how fellow volunteers (other Asian-American firefighters) were taking it. I didn’t have to guess.

“I’m sure everyone is steaming, like I am,” said Lee, a Chinese-American. “It’s personal. It could have been our aunt or our mom or our grandma.”

Violent assault of a 65-year-old woman While walking to church during the day near Times Square in New York City this week, a clear level of anger against pandemic and escalated anti-Asian attacks has already risen.

New York Police Department says the perpetrator shouted a racial slur at a Filipino-American woman and told her, “You don’t belong here!” This video quickly collected millions of views with widespread accusations, not only for its atrocious nature, but also for seemingly indifferent bystanders. The perpetrator was arrested and charged with a hate crime on Wednesday.

Coast-to-coast Asian-American groups are already doing more than digital activity — patrols, escorts, chaperones — trying to keep this latest hate crime from discouraging their efforts. I will.

“I think it gives us more motivation to take care of ourselves,” Lee said. “We consider everyone in our community to be our own. It doesn’t have to be Asian.”

In New York City, 29-year-old Chinese-American Teresatin launched what became a main street patrol after attacking another older Asian-American woman in the Flushing district of Queens in February. ..

“If it was the wrong place, the wrong time, it could have been literally my mother,” Tin said of the attack.

She wanted to do more than post a message on social media, but was happy and surprised when people appeared as volunteers. Since then, the group has organized volunteers on weekend afternoons to part of the Asian metropolis of Flushing.

Volunteers have apps that they use to travel in groups of three and communicate with each other. Ting, who wants to expand to provide chaperone services, said he wants people to know how to get involved and the tactics they can use.

“I think it’s very necessary, especially in the Asian community today, just because many elders have language barriers. They can’t speak or understand English, so I feel that many hate crimes have not been reported. “

Bystander training is also increasing, and its need has only been enhanced by this week’s attack video. Hollaback offers training on how to respond when you witness harassment! Emily May, co-founder of the company, said it was worrisome that the video showed some witnesses to the attack that didn’t seem to help women.

The two have been identified as lobby workers, and the attack took place in the street just outside their building. Police said they did not intervene or call 911. One of them was seen closing the door of the building during the assault.

Mei said there are things they can do, even if they are worried about harming themselves, such as screaming or distracting.

“I think there are still ways we could intervene without compromising our safety,” she said.

Marita Etokubanes, senior director of the Strategic Initiative to Promote Asian-American Justice, said the organization is affiliated with Horabak. Last year, we offered free online bystander training focused on Asian Americans.

“The first two trainings we offered had more than 1,000 people enrolled, so it’s clear that the trainings met the needs and many concerns within the community,” she said. ..

Since then, interest in training has fluctuated and demand has increased as reports of anti-Asia attacks have increased.

Asian Americans are still upset just weeks after white shooters fired at three Asian-owned massage companies in Atlanta Metro. Eight people died, including six Asian women. The shooter was not charged with hate crimes, and authorities received a fierce backlash when he said the suspect had accused him of “sexual addiction.” Critics say that the race of the victim is closely related to motivation.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered a review on Tuesday on how the Attorney General would optimally deploy its resources to combat hate crimes in the face of a surge in cases targeting Asian Americans.

Garland publishes a 30-day review, citing “the recent increase in hate crimes and hate incidents, especially the disturbing trend of reporting violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islands members since the outbreak of the pandemic.” We have issued a memo for the entire department. “

Asian-American activists say former President Donald Trump is partially responsible for his rhetoric on COVID-19, which he often called the “Chinese virus.”They say he gave people permission to show racism that has already existed and is rooted in decades of anti-Asian sentiment in the United States.

According to a report from Stop AAPI Hate, more than 3,800 anti-Asian incidents were reported to the organization between March and February 2020.The number of groups tracking cases of discrimination, hatred, and alien exclusion against Asian Americans and Pacific Islands in the United States is high. “It ’s just a small part of the number of hatred cases. It really happens. “

According to the Hate Crimes Research Center at California State University San Bernardino, hate crimes targeting Asians increased by 150% last year, while hate crimes during pandemics decreased by 7% overall.

San Francisco firefighter Lee said he was prepared to continue volunteering as long as he needed to, and frequently encountered volunteers from other civil patrols, demonstrating how much attention was being paid to the issue. Added. The Asian-American seniors he met still want to maintain their daily lives.

“If they’re scared, they’re not showing it, because they still have to live their daily lives,” he said.


Tang reported from Phoenix. Hajela and Tang are members of the Associated Press racial and ethnic team. Follow Tang on Twitter at Follow Hajela on Twitter at

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