Modern Violence Against Asian Americans


The recent acts of violence against elderly Asians have resulted in outcry from the Asian American community. It started with the security footage from January 28th of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee being shoved to the ground on his morning walk by a nineteen-year-old young man. He died just two days after. His attacker pleaded not guilty to murder and elder abuse. Along with Ratanapakdee, there have been numerous other cases that have occurred since then, including the assault of a 64-year-old Vietnamese grandmother, who was robbed in San Jose, and 61-year-old Noel Quintana’s face slashed by a box cutter on a New York City subway. Not one major news outlet covered the acts of violence when they occurred. 

The violence towards Asians in America has heightened with Covid-19 and the previous President’s inflammatory rhetoric, but only now do lawmakers see this as a “crisis point.” So far, only a largely symbolic executive order condemning Asian American hate has been signed by President Biden. Hopefully, more will be done to prevent and bring awareness to these attacks. 

These elders may have seemed like a vulnerable group to attack, but they are the most important figures in the Asian community. As an Asian American, I’ve learned that our elders connect us to our roots. Elders symbolize our past. Our futures are only possible because of their lives and experiences. 

Most importantly, behind them stand so many others, some not even Asian. Recently, Jacob Azevedo, of Hispanic descent, organized a project called “Compassion in Oakland” with over 300 volunteers to walk with the elderly for their safety. He believes this is a moment that requires the solidarity of all minority groups in order to fight the racism against Asian Americans. However, this outcry must not just remain a moment in which solidarity is necessary. Solidarity must be continuous, in order for our elderly and our communities to thrive together.