Tech Times


A Golden Melting Pot

Written by Kenny Tung, Amy Zhu, and Kevin Zou

We want you to envision the following scenario.

“Imagine you were a front-line health care worker — the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. You ride the subway to work, like usual. On your way to the hospital where you work, a person boarded the train without a mask. Logically, you move away from him, trying to protect yourself by social distancing.

However, he decides to mimic your movements, even following you to your seat. Then, out of nowhere, he begins coughing and spitting all over you. He even starts yelling racial slurs at you as well, telling you to go back to your own country. You are speechless — shocked that you have become a victim of the same incidents that you have seen over and over again on the news.”

Something we intentionally left out was that you're also an Asian American. Unfortunately, the situation that we have presented to you is not just some random story we made up. This is a true story — an event that Crisanna Tang, an Asian American woman who risks her life everyday to combat the pandemic for us, was forced to experience.

But this is just one out of many other stories that concern Anti-Asian discrimination. 

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, Asian Americans were already victims to racial attacks somewhat frequently. But after the pandemic started, there has been an immense surge in Anti-Asian attacks, a 150% increase across all major U.S. cities. In March 2020 alone, community groups, such as Asian Americans Advancing Justice, recorded over 3,000 anti-Asian hate crimes nationwide. That is compared to about 100 crimes recorded annually in the years prior. As New York City residents, this issue hits even closer to home. Our city saw one of the highest spikes in anti-Asian hate crimes — a shocking 833% increase.  In Flushing, Queens, a man violently shoved an elderly Asian American woman to the ground, leaving her with stitches on her forehead. In New York City’s Chinatown, a 36-year-old Asian American man became another victim of a hate crime after casually strolling on the sidewalk and then getting stabbed from behind. Perhaps you have witnessed these anti-Asian sentiments firsthand, from microaggressions such as verbal harassment to full-scale violence. The rise in anti-Asian attacks has gone out of hand and it is time for the issue to be dealt with and addressed.

Just last week, an 83 year old Korean woman, Nancy Toh, was spat on and violently attacked by a homeless man on the streets of White Plain, New York. She was punched to the ground — unconscious after the blow. Fortunately, the elder recovered after receiving help from a bystander who reported Nancy bleeding from the brain. Even with her urgent condition, Nancy does not wish to get medical help, fearing that the financial costs would be too great. To Asian elders of low economic status, violent attacks such as these are especially dangerous, yet many of them are unwilling to seek help. 

Recently, we have conducted several interviews with people within our communities about the rise in anti-Asian attacks. When asked about the sensitive topic, many high school students from the Asian community expressed their disapproval towards the recent wave of racially motivated aggressions. 

Salina Huang, a junior residing in Dyker Heights, describes these hate crimes as “immoral” and a symbol of the racial injustice Asian Americans endure everyday. She hopes media coverage on this issue would be the leverage needed for them to “speak up after being silent for so long.” Currently, Salina expresses discontent with the amount of media coverage, stating that these crimes often go ignored or unnoticed. The 16 year old specifically brings to attention the vulnerability Asian elders face in this currently polarized country. Salina brings to attention the struggle of living as an Asian American female. Living in a white-dominated neighborhood like Dyker Heights, she feels unsafe taking a short walk alone at night. Salina ends with a hopeful note. Though she is unsure of whether Asian Americans would ever be accepted into American society, she hopes with enough awareness, the path to a truly equal nation can be achieved. 

Jackie Ramirez, another junior at Staten Island Tech, expresses sadness and anger towards the rise in anti-Asian discrimination. She now constantly stresses and worries about her Korean mother going to work and coming home late at night, as she is aware of how “easily something can happen.” She is incredibly frustrated by the thought that people would want to intentionally inflict pain on each other. Moreover, she is also frustrated by mainstream media. Although anti-Asian attacks are starting to gain traction on smaller media platforms, she also thinks that mainstream media could do a “better job at emphasizing compassion, unity, and understanding.” She believes that mainstream media — and their strong social media presence — has the power to influence people and raise awareness on anti-Asian discrimination. Because she feels unsafe when she is alone, Jackie can no longer find herself “going out in the dark” by herself during these times.

Jason D., a freshman in high school, has a unique perspective towards the anti-Asian hate crimes. He strongly believes that these crimes are idiotic and it is stupid for humans to commit such violent acts due to their impulsive decisions. Additionally, Jason says that the previous president calling the Asian race racist names adds fuel to the fire. In order for the government to take better action, he explains that the Government should add stronger law enforcement, prioritize these crimes, and take higher measures to prevent further violence. Jason describes these crimes as “herd mentality” and “this is part of human nature to feel threatened and to fear the unknown or irregular.” He adds, “Asians were originally targeted when they first arrived into America during the first wave of immigration because they were seen as inferior in all ways. Certain groups clearly have not gotten past these views. The obvious cause for the massive spike is the pandemic which gives racists an excuse to attack Asians.” As a temporary solution, Jason insists for Asians to travel in at least groups of three, bringing self defense tools such as pepper sprays or pocket knives. In Jason’s case, he is relieved to find his neighborhood well guarded and safe with a low crime rate. 


Many of our other interviewees had the same judgement, all being very discontent and outraged by the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. The majority of them agreed that COVID-19 played the greatest role in the surge in anti-Asian discrimination, but they also agreed that racism against Asians has been going on for centuries — and that COVID-19 was simply an excuse to continue targeting Asians. In these tough times, unity is needed more than ever. We simply cannot allow racial tensions to continue dividing our already-torn nation. 

It is clear that the Asian community have been suppressed of their voices and often looked down upon in society, garnering close to no attention. As these violent attacks make their way up to headlines, we have to take full advantage of the situation to better our voices. America is recognized around the world as the most diverse melting pot — and it should be our responsibility to live up to that legacy. This means that everyone’s voices need to be heard. 

You are the voice! For you to be heard, spread the message. 


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Hawkins, Derek. “An 83-year-old Asian American woman was spat on and punched so hard she blacked out, police say.”, 13 March, 2021,

Helsel, Phil. “Suspect Faces Hate Crime Charges in Stabbing of Asian Man in New York City.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 3 Mar. 2021,

Li, David K. “Suspect Arrested in Violent Shoving of Asian American Woman in New York.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 19 Feb. 2021,

Petri, Alexandra E., and Daniel E. Slotnik. “Attacks on Asian-Americans in New York Stoke Fear, Anxiety and Anger.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Feb. 2021,

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