I was speaking over the weekend to a friend in Vietnam and I told her that someday I’d like to visit southeast Asia. I asked her about life in Vietnam.
“I hate it here,” she said. “We don’t have freedom of speech like you do.”
So, naturally, I asked her if she’d move to the United States if given the chance.
“I’d never go to the United States,” she declared. “It’s not safe there for Asians.”
Without question attacks on Asians in the United States are way up. By 150 percent by one estimate. Many people in the Asian community believe the actual number is higher.
“Many of us don’t like to complain to the police when we are harassed,” says Dr. Julie Kwon Evans who is active in efforts to combat hate crimes against Asians in Michigan.
Evans says she has been harassed several times since the start of the pandemic. At first she reported the incidents to the police but seemingly nothing was done. So now she just ignores them and goes on with her life.
Of course, fortunately for Evans, she’s remained unscathed. The same can’t be said for an Asian American man on a Brooklyn subway.
The NYPD released a video of the attack, hoping someone can identify the assailant.
The video shows the guy beating and choking the Asian man. He choked him until he passed out.
Other passengers did nothing to intervene. Although several yelled at the guy to stop.
I participate a lot on social media and I have opportunity to speak to people around the world. It’s evident to me that so many in the Asian world, like my friend in Vietnam, are so aware of these attacks in the United States. The last time I can recall such interest in treatment of Asians in the United States was when Vincent Chin was killed outside a strip club in Highland Park Michigan.
Chin, who was born in China, had just gotten engaged. His friends had taken him to the club to throw a bachelor party for him.
Two white guys, Ronald Ebens, a Chrysler plant supervisor, and his stepson Michael Nitz, a laid off autoworker were there. At the time, in 1982, there was a lot of rage directed at the Japanese auto industry for…