WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES MARCH 11, 2021 13
We all must condemn anti-Asian attacks in New York City
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. Then imagine being
punched in the face, or violently
pushed, or set on fi re or slashed with
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.
They tell you to go home – to a
diff erent country.
These aren’t fictional accounts,
they’re not from some action movie.
They’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. They may be you.
Noel Quintana, a 61-year-old riding
in a subway car, was slashed ear-to-ear
in early 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
This 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. This
violence aff ects us all. When one group
is targeted, it places an indelible stain
on our humanity.
That’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. That
is a horrifying statistic.
There is so much loss this year: the
lives of people who died from a deadly
virus 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
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.
There are many Asian New Yorkers
working on the frontlines, from
combating the disease in hospitals to
providing meals to delivering groceries.
They 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 this together.
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
• Help promote and practice ways to
diff use tense situations.
• 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 New Yorkers.
• 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 ways.
• 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
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