New York City and State Elected Officials Alongside The Asian American Federation And Hate Crime Victims Call For Immediate Resources to Combat Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
July 2021 NYPD Report Found an Unprecedented 363% Increase in Hate Crimes Targeting Asian New Yorkers
City and State Elected Officials and Community Leaders Urging for Immediate Funding and Resources to Keep New York’s Asian Community Safe
New York, NY – Today, New York City and State elected officials, alongside the Asian American Federation, hate crime victims and community leaders, called for immediate resources to combat the crisis of unprecedented anti-Asian hate crimes due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The NYPD’s July 2021 report found a 363% increase in hate crimes targeting Asian New Yorkers, and a national report from Stop AAPI Hate this week found New York to be the state with the second-highest number of hate incident reports involving the Asian community.
“For over a year now, Asian Americans have been living in constant fear of being assaulted on their way to the grocery store, to the office, to school, and even just walking down the street. I have seen and heard first-hand from friends, colleagues and families the fear of being attacked, and the trauma in those long after they have assaulted,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation. “Our community is desperately looking for help to fight against this wave of hate. We need to be proactive rather than reactive that includes providing victims with a strong support system. I look forward to working with our leaders to ensure the safety of our community for the future.”
“Amid the continued and truly troubling rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the city, and real worry in neighborhoods, I stand with our neighbors and friends from the Asian American community to confront and eliminate anti-Asian hate wherever it might be,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “We passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to give the DOJ more tools, and locals more help, to stem this tide of intolerance, investigate hate crimes – in every corner or place they might occur—and ease the worry across this great and diverse city. To overcome this scourge, we all must continue to work together.”
“I am deeply disturbed by the continued rise of attacks against the AAPI community across the country and right here in our own backyard. These horrific events should be a wake-up call to the urgent need to tackle domestic violent extremism in this country,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “We must all step up and loudly condemn this violence, and I will continue fighting in the Senate to make sure everyone can feel safe in their own communities, regardless of race and ethnic background.”
“For generations, Asian-Americans have been a pillar of the diverse community that makes New York State a beacon for the world, and the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is abhorrent and unacceptable,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “This is not who we are as New Yorkers, and that’s why we need more funding to keep our friends and neighbors safe as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take all of us—the city, state and federal governments as well as vital community partners—to fight anti-Asian hate crimes and secure a brighter, safer future for the Asian-American community in our state.”
“The continued acts of hate and violence against our Asian-American community are unacceptable and antithetical to everything we represent,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “No individual should be treated any differently or have to live in fear because of who they are, what they look like, or where they come from, period. Hate will never be tolerated in our state, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that New Yorkers are safe and protected in their communities. My office will continue to take action against hate and discrimination of any kind, and I thank the Asian American Federation for their shared commitment in this effort. I encourage everyone to remain vigilant and to report any discriminatory acts to my office at 1-800-771-7755.”
“Potri Ranka Manis is an unsung frontline worker who was passing out free masks – the attack against her while doing this was abhorrent,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “I commend Ms. Manis for speaking out despite the incident; those who attacked her must be held accountable. While my COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is law, it is imperative that everyone play a role in combatting anti-Asian hate and violence. I thank Asian American Federation for holding today’s press conference and reiterate my firm commitment to ensuring the federal government is addressing such hate and violence.”
Concerningly, the report found that physical assaults are on the rise in 2021 (16.6%), even in comparison to 2020 (10.8%). Last week there were three attacks, including one on Potri Ranka Manis, a Filipino nurse, and frontline health worker who was assaulted on the subway while handing out face masks. Just weeks ago, Minerva Chin, a nonprofit leader was attacked in Chinatown.
NY State Senator John Liu said, “The continuing onslaught of anti-Asian hate and attacks requires that we stay ever-vigilant to underscore and denounce the violence and bigotry that has devastated the community in lockstep with COVID. Neither the passage of time nor the overwhelming numbers of incidents will dull the shock and outrage experienced by our community. We are thankful to the victims who not only reported their attacks but are outspoken about their ordeals, and to the Asian American Federation for their continued efforts.”
“Potri Ranka Manis is a Queens healthcare hero who had taken it upon herself to help protect her city from COVID-19 by passing out free face masks to subway riders. She should have been applauded by everyone who walked past her, not become a target of vile anti-Asian hatred in the very city she is trying to keep safe,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “This pandemic of prejudice must not be allowed to continue. Queens stands in solidarity with her and all survivors of anti-Asian hate, and I call on all our families to become active allies in this fight against bigotry and bias.”
“A Filipino nurse, who was simply trying to protect public health by offering masks to a couple not wearing any– as they are required to on the subway– is instead attacked for her act of kindness,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It’s yet another instance of an anti-Asian hate attack, with an added twist of the anti-mask poison infecting our culture. I’m grateful to Potri Ranka Manis for her bravery and being willing to speak out and shine a light on this hatred.”
“The on-going attacks on the Asian-American community have been horrific and unacceptable. As the representative of Korea Town, it’s important that we condemn and take action against these acts of violence. Hate and racism have no place in our city,” said Council Member Keith Powers (D-4).
“Throughout the pandemic our message has been clear: There is no room for anti-Asian hate in New York City,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “Any instance of anti-Asian hate is one too many. The New York City Commission on Human Rights is committed to eradicating the disease of hate, bias, and discrimination from our home. Our COVID-19 response team continues to track and respond to reports of anti-Asian bigotry and to offer support to our Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Our committed frontline workers, workers like Porti Ranka Manis, have given the city hope that we will beat this pandemic. We owe it to them, and to all New Yorkers, to do everything in our power to combat hate, and bring accountability to those who perpetrate it.”
“The continuous violence and egregious disrespect towards the Asian community is infuriating and painful. The Hispanic Federation will continue to stand alongside the Asian community, as Latinos know all too well how discriminatory and prejudiced treatment affects us all. We will not be silent while another community goes through this level of pain – we will always align our actions to fight back and ensure safety for all communities singled out simply due to their ethnicity. May we never be complacent and numb to these incidents and instead respond with steadfast compassion to those marginalized and austerity towards attackers,” said Frankie Miranda, President & CEO, Hispanic Federation
“The disgraceful attack against Potri Ranka Manis underscores the need for our City to take stronger steps to stop Asian hate. Ms. Manis, a Filipina woman, was trying to protect her neighbors by distributing masks when she was verbally and physically assaulted, with the assailants hurling hideous racial slurs against her. To stem the tide of hate we have witnessed in our city, I have called for prioritizing language justice for our victims, scaling up security camera installations as we’ve done through our Operation Safe Shopper program, and ensuring every district attorney’s office across the city has a robust Hate Crimes Unit to properly investigate these crimes, among other steps. I will continue to stand with our Asian brothers and sisters against all forms of hate, and commend Ms. Manis for her courage in speaking out about what she experienced,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Established in 1989, with the mission to raise the influence and well-being of the pan-Asian American community through research, policy advocacy, public awareness, and nonprofit support. Serving 70 member and partner organizations and representing the collective interests of 1.3 million Asian New Yorkers, the Asian American Federation is the largest umbrella leadership organization in New York, serving diverse Asian American communities that make up the fastest-growing population in the city, state, and country.