You are reading

New Hotline Established To Report Hate Crimes And Xenophobia Linked to Coronavirus

Hotline

Photo by Luis Villasmil, Unsplash

March 24, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

A new hotline to report hate crimes and xenophobic-based incidents has been set up in the wake of the coronavirus spread and anti-Asian rhetoric.

It comes after an uptick in the number of bigoted attacks against Asian Americans, according to Attorney General Letitia James, who announced the service Monday.

She said that some public officials and media pundits have created a toxic environment for Asian Americans by referring to the coronavirus as the “China virus.”

“As we face an unprecedented and uncertain time for New York, the United States, and the world, we must reiterate the fact that this pandemic does not give anyone an excuse to be racist, xenophobic, or biased,” James said.

“No one should live in fear for their life because of who they are, what they look like, or where they come from. I encourage all victims of discriminatory actions stemming from this pandemic to contact my office. We will continue to work with local law enforcement to combat hate in all its insidious forms.”

Hate crimes linked to the coronavirus have jumped, she said, and there is need for urgent action.

For instance, on March 12, an alleged bigot assaulted a man who was with his 10-year-old son in an apparent hate crime on Queens Boulevard.

“You f–king Chinese,” he reportedly shouted to the man. “Where’s your f–king mask” he said.

On March 11, a 59-year-old Asian man was kicked in the back — which knocked him to the ground– by a teenager in Manhattan. The suspect allegedly told him to go back to his country and mentioned the coronavirus.

And last Thursday, a man was collared by police for allegedly robbing an Asian woman inside a Brooklyn train station and telling her to “go back to China” and “get your temperature checked, you need to leave.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng, who has been outspoken on the issue, has welcomed news of the hotline.

“I have repeatedly called on public officials – from the President to the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives – to abstain from using derogatory language that demonizes Asian Americans,” she said.

“This must stop. Public officials and the media must speak truth to power and refrain from dabbling in misinformation or conspiracy theories,” she said.

State Senator John Liu said that Asian Americans are besieged on two fronts by the COVID-19.

They are having to deal with the spread of COVID-19 like the public as a whole– as well as “outbreaks of ignorance and bigotry sometimes inflicting more harm than the virus itself.”

“More and more hateful incidents are occurring, ranging from distasteful gestures to obnoxious name-calling to outright violence against Asian-Americans — and despicably condoned by the president himself, he said.

Liu added that the battle against the coronavirus has actually brought out the best among New Yorkers but it is necessary to remind some not to let the fear of the unknown devolve into “irrational and inexcusable hate.”

 

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

College Point building inspector criminally charged with taking bribes to close complaints: DA

A College Point man who works as an inspector at the city’s Department of Buildings is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for overlooking potential violations at various Queens locations on multiple occasions since January 2023.

Zabihullah Ibrahimi, 42, of 22nd Avenue, was arraigned Thursday in Queens Criminal Court on bribery and official misconduct charges for taking cash from homeowners and then closing complaints about their property. In one case, he allegedly asked for $3,500 from a property owner and, when she said she had no cash, he directed her to go to a bank and get it while he waited at her home, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.