Hate crime terrifies Asian-American victim


Dear Amy: My wife and I are both retired Asian-American professionals. Several months ago, a homeless person in a famous outdoor market came up to my wife and spit hot coffee in her face.

The person also harassed a Korean tourist and a Laotian flower vendor.

My wife called the police, and they identified the man. He has a past record and is mentally imbalanced. He was not arrested even though he has a record of inappropriate public activity and harassment.

My problem is that now my wife is afraid to go out in public without me. Other Asian women have been attacked randomly in our city.

She is at the point where she worries about me when I run errands. Given that we are just emerging from our COVID caves, I need to find a way to have her feel safe without arming her.

Also, I’m concerned that if someone attacks us, I will actually harm this mentally ill person, and I would be the one who would be sent to jail.

— Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: The history of hate crimes against Asian Americans is long and heartbreaking.

Quoting from a recent story published by PBS, “There are 22.9 million Asian Americans and 1.6 million Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders across the U.S. American history is pockmarked with anti-Asian exclusion, discrimination and prejudice, particularly when economic times are tough or during other times of great unrest.”

A recent survey suggested that up to 1 in 6 Asians have been targets of hate crimes, representing a dramatic rise in attacks over the course of the pandemic.

I believe that the answer — to your safety and to your sense of well-being — lies in solidarity, activism, and empowerment.


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