Tiertza-leah Schwartz: ‘Silence is not an option’

Published: 2/23/2021 6:56:03 AM

On Sunday, Feb. 14, I sent my daughter, who is Asian, an article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) about the under-reporting of recent anti-Asian attacks and hate crimes.

On Monday morning my daughter called to say that a friend, who is Thai and a medical student, was attacked at 10 a.m. while standing outside Mt. Sinai Hospital after finishing a shift. She was knocked to the ground, kicked and beaten while the assailant yelled that she was responsible for a family member dying from the “China virus.” This woman’s Korean friend was assaulted on the subway in similar circumstances the week before. The New York Police Department reported that hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian sentiment jumped 1,900% in New York City in 2020.

These attacks are directly related to the hate speech by Donald Trump and others. They are also contributed to by under-reporting by the Gazette and other news outlets. Recently an elderly Thai man in California died from an attack and across the country Asian’s are being physically and verbally assaulted.

These are hate crimes and need to be reported as such and covered by the news media. Hate crimes are never acceptable and our Asian family members, friends and neighbors are at increased risk. As Don Lemon says in his podcasts, “Silence is not an option.” Ironically, this medical student has spent months on the front lines at Elmhurst and other hospitals taking care of COVID-19 patients. Please be alert to step in to support our Asian community members.

B’shalom,

Tiertza-leah Schwartz

Ashfield




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