Over the last week, I was home and read that 24 hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2020 were coronavirus-related.
That blame is unjust and stems from ignorance. I saw firsthand the kindness and heart of the Asian culture during the height of the pandemic.
Don Lee of Homecrest Community Services, got Chinese food donated with an orange in each bag; which for those of you who don’t know is considered a lucky fruit for the Chinese New Year. And we delivered those meals to people of all faiths and backgrounds.
So we organized a food crawl of Chinese takeout restaurants last year to show our support against hate, Mr. Bun on 86th Street gave us free dumplings, despite losing most of their business. Those are just two examples of the kindness we are shown by our Asian neighbors.
In July of last year at Seth Low park when we rallied against hate because an 89-year old Chinese grandmother was lit on fire in our community.
Asian Americans aren’t responsible for COVID. But we are all responsible for taking care of each other in this pandemic and speaking out when there are displays of hate. A crime against one of us is a crime against us all.
When I worked for the Simon Wiesenthal Center after graduating from Baruch college, I learned that the number 1 way to fight against hate is to foster tolerance amongst different communities and backgrounds.
We can do just that by fully funding the NYPD and by organizing programming in our schools and our community centers to bring people together to celebrate each other’s culture.
I firmly believe that words matter, and I will continue to work to activate every member of our community to take a stand against the structures that perpetuate and fuel discrimination and assaults on Asian Americans.
With the closing of the Chinese New Year, I say Gong haay faa choii! May good fortune fund your doorway.
From my home to yours.