FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 11, 2021 • THE QUEENS COURIER 19
We all must condemn anti-Asian attacks in NYC
BY BETH FINKEL AND JO-ANN YOO
Imagine for a minute that you’re simply
standing on a subway platform waiting
for your train. Or maybe you’re running
an errand, shopping bag in hand. Or
you’ve just left your home for a walk. Th en
imagine being punched in the face, or violently
pushed, or set on fi re or slashed
with a knife.
Now imagine that those things happened
to you because of your race.
Random strangers just walk up to you and
attack you because they believe in some
convoluted and ridiculous way that you’re
responsible for the coronavirus. Th ey tell
you to go home – to a diff erent country.
Th ese aren’t fi ctional accounts, they’re
not from some action movie. Th ey’re real
life. In our city. And they are increasing.
And the targets are Asian New Yorkers,
many of whom are age 50 or above. Th ey
may be you.
Noel Quintana, a 61-year-old riding in a
subway car, was slashed ear-to-ear in early
A VACCINE SITE
I am writing to urge immediate action
to designate Sunnyside Community
Services as a vaccine site. In addition to
serving Sunnyside, Queens, they reach
seniors in some of the hardest-hit communities
in our city: Jackson Heights,
Corona, Elmhurst and beyond.
I count on Sunnyside Community
Services because they have always
off ered services to thousands of seniors
in need during the pandemic and before
it. Th ey make sure seniors have access to
food, support for benefi ts and guidance
around their health.
Seniors, especially Latino and African
American seniors, have been the worst
hit in this pandemic. Yet we are unable
to access the COVID-19 vaccine. Many
seniors complain of hours on hold,
confusing online systems and frustrating
dead ends. Others don’t even try
because they are hesitant about the vaccine
and need reassurance. Sunnyside
Community Services is a place we trust,
is easy to get to, and with people that
care about us.
In addition to designating Sunnyside
Community Services as a vaccine site
we advocate for the social workers and
case managers to have special access to
sign up seniors for appointments. Many
people don’t have internet connections
or don’t know how to use the online
Now that an end to this pandemic is
in sight, I urge city and state offi cials to
make sure that the Queens senior community
who were some of the fi rst to fall
February when he asked his attacker to
stop kicking his bag. And only a few people
stepped up to help Mr. Quintana, who
was bleeding profusely.
Th is is more than unacceptable. And
if you think that these violent acts of
hate are just about the targeted person
or Asians, you are wrong. Th is violence
aff ects us all. When one group is targeted,
it places an indelible stain on our
Th at’s why our respective organizations
have risen up to end this violence and
hold our elected offi cials and our police
accountable. We ask you to stand with us.
Since early 2020, when COVID-19
locked down New York City, there have
been approximately 500 reports of bias
incidents and hate crimes directed at the
Asian community, particularly vulnerable
seniors. But we know that’s just a fraction
since many of these incidents go unreported.
Th at is a horrifying statistic.
Th ere is so much loss this year: the lives
of people who died from a deadly virus
to this deadly virus are not the last to be
Gloria Lopez, Woodside resident
and member of the senior center at
Sunnyside Community Services
A DAY OF TRAGEDY
Sept. 11, 2021, will mark 20 years
since that awful day when nearly 3,000
Americans died at the hands of terrorists.
e World Trade Center, the Pentagon
and a fi eld in Pennsylvania will bear the
marks of the attacks forever in the history
of the United States.
Now, years later, more than 500,000
Americans have died due to COVID-
19, a terrible virus that seeks additional
victims daily. Even with vaccinations
spreading across the nation and
throughout the world, lives will be lost
to the disease into the future.
Th roughout the nation, there have
been moments of silent remembrance
highlighted by lights representing our
lost loved ones.
Flags have been lowered in honor to
the new frontline warriors, health care
Sept. 11, 2021, will not be an anniversary
but will be a call to consider,
remember, to think what could have
been if those lost on 9/11 were still
among us. It must also be a day to
mourn the losses of so many taken by
an evil virus which has stalked our cities,
countryside and people with the sole
purpose to harm and kill.
St. Michael’s Cemetery annually held
memorial services on Sept. 11 in honor
of the fi rst responders of the attacks. St.
Michael’s has also dedicated monuments
honoring fi rst responders.
Yet, at a time when we must practice
social distancing and remain cautious,
the questions are what can we, and what
should we do to remember the lives lost
on Sept. 11, 2001, and those taken from
us during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To do nothing would disgrace so many
lives lost and the families who, every
day, attempt to fi ll a hole in their lives
Ed Horn, St. Michael’s Cemetery,
letters & comments
and the livelihoods of those who have
lost jobs and businesses. And there’s also
the mental health toll that has aff ected so
many as we continue to lockdown and
remain socially distant.
We ask our neighbors and friends of all
communities to stand with us to eradicate
hate. We ask our fellow New Yorkers
to look out for each other. Th ere are many
Asian New Yorkers working on the frontlines,
from combating the disease in hospitals
to providing meals to delivering
groceries. Th ey are the people helping you
get through this, one of the most diffi cult
years in American history, but are being
violently treated as outsiders in the communities
they are sustaining.
Now it’s time to condemn these attacks,
pressure our lawmakers to address anti-
Asian and anti-immigrant rhetoric and
to punish those who attack our fellow
New Yorkers. Remember, we are all in
Here are some ways to help from the
Asian American Federation:
Support victims by advocating for
recovery services off ered in Asian languages
to help them heal from the trauma.
Help promote and practice ways to diffuse
Call on our leaders to go beyond verbal
expressions of solidarity and take
meaningful actions to provide us with
the resources to navigate COVID-19 and
address the racism that is plaguing Asian
Ask our leaders to demonstrate their
dedication to eradicating hate and ensuring
real safety by creating a system of support
that allows those who are being targeted
to seek help in diff erent places and
Urge leaders to invest in meaningful
strategies to bring marginalized communities
together to build and heal during
and aft er COVID-19.
Beth Finkel is the State Director
of AARP New York. Jo-Ann Yoo is the
Executive Director of the Asian American
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN QUEENS // PHOTO SUBMITTED BY LEANN BUGARIN
Send us your photos of Queens and you could see them online or in our paper! To submit them to
us, tag @qnsgram on Instagram, visit our Facebook page, tweet @QNS or email
firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Queens Snaps).