Asian hate crimes, on our doorstep

C. was standing in front of 31-33 N. Moore for a moment earlier this month, adjusting her headphones, when she saw a man coming down the street making a beeline for her. They made eye contact, and just as he passed her, he spat at her — forcefully and deliberately — just missing her as she dodged him slightly. It was 10:45 on a Thursday morning.

“I was stunned,” she said, especially given the hour and location. Yet at the same time, not entirely shocked given the toxic culture of the past 12 months. “If you listen to these conversations, people are getting away with this stuff. In Atlanta, they are saying it’s not a racial incident but if you’ve experienced it, it feels like it is — this is the dilemma. It’s hard not to feel we are being gaslighted and downgraded.”

C. knew from friends’ similar experiences — one was shoved as she walked down Chambers Street; her daughter’s friends were targeted on the subway — that bias crimes have to be reported in person, and even then, they often don’t go far. She checked in at the 1st Precinct, where they told her if the perp didn’t say anything, then the incident cannot be logged as a bias crime. Hers was reported as a complaint of harassment.

She didn’t feel like anything would come of it, but still felt obligated to do something. “There are so many people who are vulnerable right now and don’t have a voice, so those us that can must be the helpers and speak up for them.”

And the rest of us should, as allies, help watch out for our neighbors.

To report NYC Asian bias crimes, email or tweet @NYPDAsianHCTF.


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  1. There is AAPI Rally Again Hate 2021 at 1pm on Sunday 3/21/2021 in Columbus Park.

    Other events include
    ❤ Friday 19 March 6PM Washington Square Vigil
    ❤ Saturday 20 March 6PM Foley Square Vigil 111 Worth St
    ❤ Sunday 21 March 10AM Union Square 5K RUN Against Anti-Asian Racism
    ❤ Sunday 21 March 1PM Columbus Park Rally Chinatown Baxter St
    ❤ Monday 22 March 1PM 5 St James Place

  2. so so sad and disturbing what is going on. Will be at the Rally on Sunday. This needs to end!

  3. It’s heart breaking. AG James also urges New Yorkers who are victims and witnesses of hate crimes to call her office : 1-800-771-7755.

  4. 1st Precinct should resist offering legal advice as if they decide what happens to charges after arrest. Plenty of examples of spitting charged as a hate crime.

  5. Heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking.

  6. It was a great turnout at the rally yesterday, 2k+ ppl showed up. Unfortunately a mother was attacked right in front of her child on their way to the rally. It could have easily been me since I have been taking my kids to these events. :(

  7. Absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking

  8. Shocking but not surprising at this point. Last week I was in Soho around 4PM, well dressed black man came towards me and started mumbling something about Bruce Lee, Chinese, kill them…..then went inside a building. A neighbor then?! Many such daily harassments were committed by black people yet the press seem to always hold back identify them. The descriptions often stop after height, clothing, if it weren’t for the witnesses’ phone photos that information wouldn’t even get out right away.
    All life matters, pc or not.

    • R. I’m sorry to hear that you were the subject of another’s racist ramblings. As an Asian American woman raised in the Midwest, who has traveled to every state in the USA, as well as extensively abroad, I can certainly relate. But the race of the person uttering those awful words is irrelevant. There are racist people of every race and creed, including in the Asian American community. I hope, as you wrote your comment, that you asked yourself if you’ve done enough to stand up for other vulnerable communities, including the Black community/BLM. Perhaps you have, but your comment seems to indicate otherwise. Surely those who look at Black people as the problem can understand that people look at Asians in the same way…and the cycle continues. Division is what makes it easier for all people of color to be victimized. We must stand up not only for our own community but also for all vulnerable communities… Black people, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ, indigenous people, Latinx… get my drift. Peace to you.

      • @Kimberly. After reflecting on your comments, as much as I am open to other thoughts on the matter, I have to say it’s you who needs to get off your high horses and tone down the rhetoric which is not helpful to a dangerous reality many people are facing everyday in the city. Calling out the perpetrator is not discriminating, denying it is hypocrisy and dangerous.

  9. For those who are ready and willing to make the effort to learn more about the history of violence and racism against Asian Americans, and are wanting to take a deeper dive to find ways to help support our incredibly diverse community, I would suggest checking out this NYMag article. The best selling Korean American novelist R.O. Kwon also wrote a piece for Vanity Fair that is well worth a read for all allies and accomplices, despite its title: A Letter To My Fellow Asian American Women.