One of the rights that a woman should have is the ability to be outside after dark without fear of being attacked or killed. That right is still being fought for, even in 2022.
On Sunday, Christina Lee was heading home to her apartment in New York City‘s Chinatown. Unbeknownst to her, a man was following her. He is accused of killing her in her own home.
As of yesterday, the murder is not based on Ms. Lee’s Korean-American heritage. But that does not mean that the police will find evidence to prove otherwise.
What scares the shit out of me is that this is every woman’s worst nightmare. Ask any female and she will tell you the same story. Carry your keys in your hands, mace in your bag, be aware of your surroundings, walk-on brightly light streets with lots of other people, etc. We shouldn’t have to follow these rules, but they could mean the difference between life and death.
What is even scarier is that this is not the first time that the accused (who shall not be named here) has gone after a random stranger. Last September, he punched another man for no reason at all. According to reports, he has a history of mental illness and should not have been on the streets to begin with.
One of my concerns is that this one heinous act creates a perception of an entire community. Like millions of others around the world, I live with depression. The difference between this man and myself is that I have access to getting the help I need. I am lucky enough that I have health insurance via my job which allows me to see a therapist and take medication. Not everyone has the same opportunity. This creates a vacuum and opens the door for people like the accused to hurt and kill others.
My heart breaks for those who knew Ms. Lee. No one should know this type of grief. I can only hope that this unnecessary loss of life spurs those in power to do something (and not just throw someone in jail, which is another topic for another time).
If there is one thing New York City is known for, it is our subway system. It is the lifeblood of not just the city itself, but of the region. Without it, NYC would not be what it is.
Last weekend, Michelle Go was shoved toward a subway car by a homeless man as it barreled into the Times Square station. She did not survive. The accused, who will not be named on this blog, has a history of previous arrests and emotionally disturbing encounters with riders.
There are two theories as to why Ms. Go was targeted. The first is that the accused has severe mental health problems and should not have been on the streets. The problem with this accusation is that it casts a shadow on everyone who lives with a mental illness. The truth is that most of us who live with it are just trying to get by. If such an act happens, we are more likely to be the victim, not the perpetrator.
The second theory is that she was targeted because of her ethnicity. It is sadly not the first time this has happened and will not be the last time. Back in November, Bew Jirajariyawetch was chocked one station south of where Ms. Go was killed. Ms. Jirajariyawetch is a model originally from Thailand.
My feeling is that both played a role in Ms. Go’s death. Which as a rider of the NYC transit system scares the shit out of me. I should not be afraid to get on the bus or train. But until the city does what they need to do to protect straphangers, I am forced to be more vigilant than I have been before.
Where is Mayor de Blasio? What is he doing to keep us safe? Apparently nothing. Anyone living in the city knows that this is his last term in office. But that does not mean that he can be a limp noodle and rest on his laurels. He is still in charge and can affect change. Between sharp uptick of violent crimes and the attacks on the AAPI community, it makes me wonder if my sense of safety is nothing more than one incident away from being destroyed completely.
Where are these weapons coming from? Most of them do not originate within NYC borders. Due to the fact that gun control laws vary from state to state, they can be transported from another part of the country. Which is another reason why a nationally recognized standard of vetting who can own a gun is vitally important.
I wish that I lived in a city and a country in which I would not turn on the news and be told that someone else in the hospital or in the morgue because they were killed by a gun. But until we have the balls to finally do something about it, this will continue to be a regular headline.
P.S. I hope this post does not deter any future visitors from spending time here, it is merely written out of frustration.
The Holocaust did not start with ghettos, gas chambers, and concentration camps. That was the end of the process. The beginning started with prejudice, lies and dehumanization. Today is Yom HaShoah.
It’s not exactly a secret that the AAPI community has been the target of numerous hate crimes as of late. The difference between the early days World War II and now is that there is hope that we can learn from the past.
During the war, as countries around the world closed their borders, there was one nation that opened her arms to Jewish refugees: China. Though the Shanghai Ghetto was dirty and overcrowded, it saved the lives of those who made it their new home. The documentary, Harbor from the Holocaust, told the story of the Jews who lived there.
It is during times of trouble that our actions reveal our true characters. The Chinese people and her government, only saw that fellow human beings were in trouble. In spite of their own troubles, they opened their collective doors to strangers.
The truth is that we can live with our neighbors who are different. It just takes a heart, a brain, and the want to see past the stereotypes.
In times of trouble, the following statement comes up:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
The latest incident in the rash of hate crimes against the AAPI community happened yesterday in Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood in Manhattan. A sixty five year old Asian woman was kicked and stomped on by a stranger. What makes this incident worse is that it happened in the middle of the day with more than a few people around. Instead of fending off her assailant, the witnesses chose to ignore what was happening right in front of them.
As cliché as the quote above is, it is also the truth. The only way to stop hate and it’s horrendous physical and emotional off shoots is to speak up. Hate crime laws are important, but they are toothless without the assistance of the average citizen. My heart and prayers go out to this woman, may she have a speedy recovery.
P.S. The building employees who chose to walk away should be fired, in my opinion.
As we all know, there was another useless shooting in the United States this week.
Just outside of Atlanta, eight people (six of whom are women are of Asian descent) were murdered on Tuesday. The accused claimed that the reason for his crime was a sex addiction.
This man (who shall not be named on this blog) knew exactly what he was doing and who he intended to kill. I would love to say that this is a one-off event. There is a disgusting upward trend of hate crimes against those within the Asian-American community.
I have to wonder, is it worth it? For most, if not all of human history, we have at best othered who are different and at worst, exterminated them. Has it made our world better? Has it made us happier? No. We continue to perpetuate this cycle of violence and hate and expect to feel satisfied. Albert Einstein once said the following:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
For all of our technological and scientific advances, we are a very stupid species. It would be nice for once to see us move beyond this blood soaked stupidity, but unfortunately, some things will never change.