By Alice Chen
A couple of months ago, on a Wednesday afternoon after attending church, I went to a grocery store around 5th Avenue to buy some groceries. I was with a friend of mine and I had brought my cart with me to carry my groceries.
After I passed by a man around the age of 40, suddenly he started screaming and yelling at me. I couldn’t quite make out the context, but he was accusing me of running him over with my cart. I don’t recall doing so, but even then I don’t think it warrants such a reaction. My English isn’t the best, but I understand all the curse words he spouted and I remember specifically that he said, “Go back to your country!”
I was too scared to say anything, too afraid that I would escalate the situation and get physically attacked, so I suppressed my anger and continued walking home. Even from a street away, I could hear his shouting and hateful words among the crowd of bystanders not saying a single word. It was frightening and it continues to be daunting every time I go outside.
It’s a nightmare for me, and I will never forget this horrible experience. Recently, I’ve seen an overwhelming amount of news about Asian hate crimes and how people are being attacked in streets or on subways for simply having Asian aspects to them. This makes me scared and brings back my frightening experience.
In the past, I would often happily bring my children out in public and on subways to Manhattan to shop, dine out, and enjoy family time. Now I’ve become hesitant as to whether or not to bring my family out for fun like we used to. I even have to think twice about going to the park and when I do, I’m always looking behind me because who knows if someone will attack me simply because I am Asian?
I hope things like this will be brought to the attention of the people and the law enforcement to eventually stop Asian hate. I hope people will stand up and educate those around us so that we are more aware and kind to one another. As a Catholic, I go to church to attend Mass and to pray for peace and healing. My faith in God brings strength and hope to me and my family after that horrible experience and during this difficult time.
Stop Asian hate. Stop all hate. Everyone deserves to be treated equally and to live in a peaceful environment. There are so many injustices around the world, but I believe if we stand together and voice our opinions, we can make a change. We can create a world of love and respect.