Asian American Hate Crimes

LZamora30's picture


This post was created a while back, but I still see it as a problem; we cannot live in a world of equality when things like this happen.  How can San Francisco lower down racial tension? How can we educate youth so that they do not go toward a life of crime and violence?

Zaquex's picture

What is a Hate Crime?

The same article defines the FBI's definition of a hate crime is a "criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin."

The problem lies in the simple fact: Hate crimes are too broad to be pinned down to a particular incident. Too many people victimize themselves as caught in the mess rather than considering the fact that the men who beat 83 year-old Huan Chen on January 24th simply as terrible people. From there, tensions can escalate quickly as one community blames another [Asian-American community against the African-American community in that circumstance].

The press and          certain articles play upon these tensions by blowing them out of proportions for the latest ratings. How can these "undercounted number of crimes" truly be low than what they actually should be? Who decides the final verdict as to what a hate crime is and is not? The article mentions only 2,025 of 13,241 agencies — 15.3 percent — reported even a single hate crime to the FBI. Perhaps the crimes committed under the agencies reviews fell into more commonalities with burglary or assault (for money).

All Americans have a stake in reducing hate crimes.

CityGirl's picture

Keeping us out of Bayview/Hunters Point

My husband and I are looking to buy our first home.  While Bayview/Hunter's Point has homes in our price range (and great weather!) we are crossing it off our list because of the recent violence.  We are not Asian - but in that area we would also be an 'other'. It makes me really sad, as I assume many other who would like to buy their first home, and could afford to buy in BV/HP don't because of the recent attacks.  I guess the way I look at it is if an elderly person is not safe -- there is no safety.  Part of us wants to move in to 'be the change we want to see' and then we get scared.  It would be our first house, if we didn't fee safe we couldn't afford to sell right away, or rent and take a loss.  Anyway -- this is the kind of real practical problem I would like to be a part of shifting!

Galomorro's picture

Agree with CityGirl

Too many of our neighborhoods are not diverse ENOUGH so that EVERYONE is equally safe. One should be able to walk on any of our streets, night or day, and in any of our parks anytime, without having to worry about gangs hanging out looking to hassle people. This goes for the Haight too. Why should some neighborhoods be enough of a problem so that certain groups are nervous about living there or even walking around in the area? The Haight-Ashbury is a diverse neighborhood, for example, but there are too many people there who make it unsafe and a turnoff should we want to go shopping or walking around there. Too many extremes of public behavior so that one does not feel completely safe. Same with the eastern part of Golden Gate Park. I've seen several offputting examples myself, and I don't even go there that often, and I'm talking about daytime hours here -- people blocking store entrances, people yelling weird things at  passersby, aggressive drunks hanging out at bus stops, weirdness on the buses in the area where the driver just ignores it all... Some elements of society make it an unpleasant experience for others in some areas and I like the idea of foot patrols in various problem neighborhoods. 

Fog City Guide's picture

Public Safety is Every Communities Right

The incidents that occurred in the Bayview were not Hate Crimes in my view. The victims were chosen because they were easy victims not because of their ethnicity. When a person sets out to assault someone else they look for someone who has something to take first of all, then they look for the easiest victim to take down and someone who isn't likely to have anyone to retaliate for them later.

The Bayview and Hunters Point are great neighborhoods that have very nice, very engaged people living there. The demographics of the area are changing drastically and the City as a whole will soon be pumping tons of money into the area. 

Some members of newer arrival immigrants carry cash for their everyday needs. That alone says come choose me - I'm the best victim -

None of this is an excuse for the victimization of an elder. For the most part we - our society - doesn't do that sort of thing. Obviously some individuals will and while it isn't necessarily based on race alone the person of the race is just the "easiest" victim.

hsparks's picture

It goes both ways- racial/cultural conflict mediation is needed

I want to preface this comment by saying that I am anti-hate crime, and have been a long time advocate of affirmative action and diversity building policies, but I feel strongly that this is not a one sided problem.

As a blonde woman, I have been randomly spit on in Chinatown and the Richmond and the Outer Sunset. I have been made to feel uncomfortable in restaurants that primarily cater to the Chinese population after behaving graciously to staff and tose around me-- including being yelled at in Canonese by an old man at a nearly empty restaurant in the Richmond (a patron, not the owner or employees) without any prompting from me.

Not enough is being done to create cultural understanding between the (very large) Asian population of San Francisco, which can be very insular, and other ethnic groups.

Recently, a man who immigrated from a small village in China, tried to bully me out of the parking spot (that I have been paying rent for, for fifteen years), and threatened to kill me if I did not give it up. Neighbors have told me that this man, who lives in a recently built illegal unit in the basement of my building, resents that a single woman has a large apartment to herself in the building. After a third threat to my life, when this man came after me with a metal rod after I parked in my spot- I called the police. Most of the police who arrived on the scene agreed that he needed to understand the gravity of his actions with an arrest, except for the Precinct sargent for the Sunset, who is of Asian descent. He insisted that my neighbor, did not understand what he was saying to me even after a Cantonese speaking neighbor of Chinese descent said that she believed he did understand what he was saying to me, and that she had seen him trying to intimidate and threaten me. This is a frightening situation. My landlord, who is also of Chinese decent has done very little to rectify the situation, and so my choice is either to allow myself to be bullied out of my home in a very expensive city where it is difficult to find a reasonably priced apartment, or live with the threat that this man may some day fly in to a rage over the parking space and kill me.

I have tried to find someone through the city to help mediate the situation and resolve the conflict, but have not had any support from the city.

No one, whether they are Asian, or re of another ethnicity deserves to be disrespected, abused,or harassed within our city.

We need better education and support services for resolving racial/cultural conflict.

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