A Californian neighborhood community rallied around the family and organized a cultural fest to show their solidarity.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of racial violence that some readers may find disturbing.
A small community in California is rallying around a local Asian-American family that was subjected to racist attacks. Members of the community are keeping watch at night and monitoring the area to keep the family safe. The family was targeted with a group of 20 neighborhood teenagers throwing rocks at their home, calling them racial slurs, and ringing their doorbell late at night. Haijun Si had moved to the United States from China over four years back, settling down in Ladera Ranch, Orange County, reported the Los Angeles Times. The attacks on Asian-American have spiked since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Donald Trump's insistence of blaming the pandemic on China and constantly referring to the virus as the 'China-virus' and 'Kung-flu' has further demonized the Asian-American community.
Community keeping watch at night
"My kids are scared. I'm very annoyed," said Si, 48. "At night, my wife and I could not sleep for more than three or four hours. Please, parents, tell your kids don't do that again," they pleaded with other members in the neighborhood. Si has had to go to great lengths to keep their family safe. Si has installed a new fence and cameras and has also got the local sheriff's department to investigate the attacks, according to PEOPLE. The attacks stopped only after the community took it upon themselves to keep an eye out for the family. Groups of people stood in the driveway and in cars near the home to deter teenagers from attacking the family. The incident has also opened the eyes of members of the community towards the prevalent racism. "I did not understand the extent of the harassment and how often it was occurring, at first. I was immediately outraged and wanted to help," said neighbor Layla Parks. "It's definitely made me sad for this community because this is just a wonderful place full of friends and neighbors that love and care about each other." Parks said the racial attacks made her "physically ill. She was instrumental in rallying the community to protect Si's family.
It’s a heartbreaking time for the Asian American community. We need to take these hate crimes seriously and fund the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force. We also need to build bonds of trust so Asian Americans feel comfortable reporting incidents and know they will be heard. pic.twitter.com/hywI02yYzc— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) February 27, 2021
She shared security footage of one of the attacks to a local Facebook group, which shocked many people from the neighborhood. Many of them volunteered to keep watch from close quarters at night to put an end to the attacks. "This harassment started almost immediately upon them moving here, and the fact that it was so clearly tied to their race is deeply upsetting," neighbor Olivia Fu told KABC. The community also held a cultural fest in solidarity with the family. Si appreciates the help from the community. "I love my neighbors. I love my community, and I love my country," said Si.
"We are American too"
More than 300 people took out a rally, along with New York's top elected officials and community leaders on Saturday, to protest the increase in anti-Asian violence in the country, reported Yahoo News. The Rise Up Against Asian Hate rally, organized by the Asian American Federation (AAF), was held at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan. "We need to make sure that we are not fighting racism with more racism. That we are fighting racism with solidarity. That we are not ever, ever pitting one group against the other. It is everyone against racism. We are American, too," said Democratic Congresswoman Grace Meng at the rally. Meng represents New York's 6th District and authored a resolution in the House last September to denounce hatred against Asian-Americans.
"Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court."— ESPN (@espn) February 26, 2021
Jeremy Lin detailed the racism that he and other Asian Americans have experienced. #StopAsianHate
(via @jlin7) pic.twitter.com/cBmHkOCSsn
500 Asians attacked in New York in 2020
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called out Donald Trump for demonizing the Asian-American community over the past year in the wake of the pandemic."Bigotry against any of us is bigotry against all of us," said Chuck Schumer. Close to 500 Asians in New York were targets of bias incidents or hate crimes in 2020, ranging from verbal to physical assaults, including acid attacks, according to data collected by AAF, Stop AAPI Hate, the NYPD, and the NYC Commission on Human Rights, reported Yahoo News.
"WE ARE NOT A VIRUS": As hate crimes rise against Asian Americans, members of the #AAPI community share their experiences with racism during the pandemic and why it's important to speak up against hate.@nguyen_amanda @AndrewYang @evachen212 @charlottejcho @NextShark @BennyLuo pic.twitter.com/ZF5wCEnOER— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 25, 2021