On Sunday, several dozens of people marched through the streets of Manhattan to the East Harlem neighborhood, the site where a 61-year old Asian man, Yao Pan Ma was brutally attacked. He was collecting cans when someone pushed him from behind and stomped on his head. The horrific attack was caught surveillance video. The man has been hospitalized and his wife is both worried and scared.
One of the persons who marched in support of the Ma, Jason Wu told CBS New York that he was family with the Chinese Asian community and he wanted them to stand in solidarity and protect one another.
In 2018, Yao Pan Ma and Baozhen Chen came to New York from China. Earlier, he worked as a dishwasher but restaurants closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he lost his job. Since he didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits, he used to collect empty bottles and cans for money.
Chen told CBS New York that her husband was very hardworking and nice and that she was “panicked and sad” after the brutal attack which left him hospitalized. He is critical but stable.
The reason for the attack is unclear and the New York Police Department Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the crime to check if Ma was attacked as a result of his race. Anti-Asian attacks have increased in the city by over 450 percent when compared with the same period in 2020 according to reports by CBS New York.
Jo-Ann Yo, executive director of the Asian American federation told the New York agency that as a New Yorker she was finding it hard to watch and see New Yorkers turning against each other. The rise in hate crimes against Asian American has spiked during the pandemic.
Despite executive orders passed by the Biden administration, hate crimes are continuing throughout the nation. Many activists say that a large number of these crimes, especially against women, are often unreported. Senior citizens are often being targeted because they are vulnerable. In San Francisco, last month, one elderly Asian American woman recently fought back and managed to wound her attacker, who was arrested.
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Image Credit NYPD