FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 25, 2021 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Flushing BID launches campaign amid rise in anti-Asian hate crimes
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
In response to the staggering rise in
anti-Asian hate crimes across the United
States, the Flushing Business Improvement
District announced the launch of a new
campaign titled “Respect, Unity, Courage”
in Flushing on Th ursday, March 18.
Th e campaign was introduced two days
aft er eight people, including six Asian
American women, were shot and killed
by a 21-year-old white gunman in Atlanta,
Georgia. It calls on all Americans to stand
in solidarity with the Asian American
community, have the courage to denounce
the wave of anti-Asian violence and show
Flushing BID members were joined by
Councilman Peter Koo, local business
owners and community-based organizations
outside the Queens Public Library
on Main Street, demanding an end to
the senseless racially motivated violence
that has skyrocketed since the start of the
Stop AAPI Hate reports that it has
received almost 3,800 reports of hate incidents
from March 19, 2020, to February
28, 2021, and an analysis by the Center
for the Study of Hate Extremism shows
that anti-Asian hate crimes surged by 149
percent in major cities across the United
States, while overall hate crimes dropped
by 7 percent. New York City alone saw an
increase of reported attacks on the Asian
American community, which went from
three in 2019 to 28 in 2020, an increase of
Flushing BID co-chair Tina Lee recalled
the time when she was told to “go back to
“I was dumbfounded. What do you
mean? Th is is my country,” Lee said.
She encouraged her community to take
action and report any form of bias and
violence so they won’t go unpunished. She
also called on Americans to act when they
“For those who are bystanders of a
hate crime, be it against an Asian or anyone
else, don’t be silent. Because by being
silent, it creates even greater harm and
trauma to the victim. If you want to help,
there are many ways. But today, we say,
please respect everyone and let’s come
together in unity,” Lee said.
Koo said that the Atlanta shooting victims
were killed for no reason and that the
perpetrator committed the crime because
of hate. He also addressed the negative
stigma surrounding massage parlors and
emphasized that most of them are safe
and provide health services.
“Most people, they have bad connotations
about massage parlors, when actually,
most of them are clean and act professionally.
A lot of times, people have a
bad connotation that all massage parlors
about sex. It is not true,” Koo said.
MinWen Yang, who represented state
Senator Toby Stavisky’s offi ce, expressed
how hurtful and demotivating the attacks
are for the Asian American community.
She shared that she also was told to “go
back to China” last summer.
“I have been in the country for 20 years.
Th at’s the fi rst time that happened to me,”
Yang said and continued, ” I think it’s hard
to argue, all the thousands of incidents are
all accidents. Asian Americans refuse to
be viewed as outsiders. We contributed to
this country, to the society in every aspect,
as other people do. We are not outsiders.
We are part of this community.”
Bianca NG with Flushing BID and president
of the Flushing Central Lions Club
pointed out that many of the victims are
elderly and said it was heartbreaking since
they are the most vulnerable members of
“Finally, now they wait for the fi rst vaccine
to roll out and think that it is safe to
go outside. And now, they have to worry
about going outside because they’re going
to be attacked. So, this is unacceptable,”
Mary McAndrew of Community Board
7 also wants to see an end to the senseless
attacks on the Asian community and
reminded everyone what the Statue of
Liberty stands for.
“I truly think this is a shame to target a
group of people when our lady in the harbor
opened its arms to these people to
come in to make a living. To start a new
life, to have freedom,” McAndrew said.
Flushing resident Kei Downey worries
about the safety of her two children and
elderly parents and fears they might get
attacked. She called on Americans to work
together instead of attacking each other
since the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate
and poses a danger to all, regardless
of skin color.
“I truly believe, only if we work
together, we have a better chance for
everyone. Not just for Black, white,
whatever color we are. So, I hope people
just be nicer to everyone and protect
each other and we will be better off that
way,” Downey said.
Teens attack Asian American boy at Flushing playground: NYPD
BY JACOB KAYE
A 13-year-old Asian American boy
is the latest victim of a string of anti-
Asian hate crimes in Queens aft er he was
attacked by a group of teens on a Flushing
basketball court earlier this week, police
On Tuesday, March 16, around 6:30
p.m., the 13-year-old was playing at
Bowne Playground, located at 142-20
Barclay Ave., when he got into an argument
with three other teenage boys,
according to the NYPD.
Aft er shoving the 13-year-old to the
ground and the three boys took turns
throwing a basketball at the young man’s
head, cops said.
One of the attackers said, “Stupid
f––g Chinese. Go back to your country,”
according to the authorities.Th e three
teens then ran off .
Th e 13-year-old, who had suff ered injuries
to his head during the beating, was
taken to Flushing Hospital in stable condition.
No arrests have been made.
Th e attack is under investigation by the
NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Tuesday’s attack is the latest in an
alarming trend of anti-Asian hate crimes
in the borough, the city and throughout
Most recently in Queens, an Asian
American mother was walking near a
Fresh Meadows park with her 2-yearold
baby on Tuesday, March 9, when an
unidentifi ed man spit in her direction and
called her the “Chinese virus.”
Nationally, the Asian American community
and its allies are reeling aft er
21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, a white
man, opened fi re inside three Georgia
massage parlors, killing eight people, six
of whom were Asian women. Long told
police that the violence was not racially
motived, however Korean-language
media reported Long expressed anti-
Asian sentiments while carrying out the
Photo via Google Maps
A 13-year-old Asian American boy was attacked inside Flushing’s Bowne Playground in an alleged
hate crime last week.
Photo by Gabriele Holtermann
The Flushing BID gathered to call for unity in wake of an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States.