May 15 - 83 Year Old Woman Brutally Beaten Into Coma In Racially Motivated Attack
|May 15 - 83 Year Old Woman Brutally Beaten Into Coma In Racially Motivated Attack|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mrs. Cheng feels like she's living under siege in her own home.
In January, an 83-year-old neighbor, also a Chinese immigrant, was beaten into a coma. Days after he died in March, Mrs. Cheng, 53, was attacked and pushed off a public transit platform, coming to minutes later with front teeth knocked out and her mouth full of blood.
Both attacks happened within a block of her house. Now Mrs. Cheng avoids going out, gets rides to work, and keeps her two daughters close to home. She doesn't want to be identified for fear of retaliation, but she doesn't want too much to be made of what happened to her, either. She repeatedly said through a translator that she just wants everyone to live in peace.
Still, such attacks and the [rip] of a Chinese immigrant from San Francisco who was a##aulted during a visit to Oakland have focused the anger of Asian-Americans here, pushing them to vent in emotional rallies their long-simmering perception that they are targets of racially motivated violence. In all cases, the perpetrators were black teenagers, police said.
"This just sent them over the top. This is an activist city, but this isn't an activist population at all," said Chia-Chi Li, one of the organizers of a rally that drew hundreds of mostly older Chinese-Americans to the steps of San Francisco City Hall bearing signs saying, "Asians are not punching bags," and "Stop attacking the elders and the vulnerable."
In this bastion of diversity and tolerance, the tension between two of its minorities has become painful.
Although both groups have suffered discrimination over the decades, the African-American community has been declining here faster than in any other major city, while the Asian-American community has been growing, partly due to immigration.
Now almost one in three San Franciscans is of Asian descent, and many have moved into affordable, historically black neighborhoods.
Street violence in these neighborhoods is not new, say people in the black community. They've suffered it for years. It just never drew much attention, they said.
But seeing this violence serve as a wedge dividing two ethnic minorities that have much more to gain from working together is particularly hard, said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who represents the district where Mrs. Cheng lives.
"It is so sad — in a wealthy city, in this city of St. Francis that harbors everyone, to see that our children are in such distress, our communities are in such distress," said Maxwell, who is African-American.
Maxwell emphasized race was not a factor in the attacks — the problem was the violence inflicted on a neighborhood.
"These kids need help. They are perpetrating violence against all of us," she said. "How are we going to protect each other and be responsible for each other?"
Police Chief George Gascon has played down the role of race in the attacks, and pointed to statistics to show Asian Americans are not disproportionately targeted in street crimes in San Francisco.
Asian Americans make up 30 percent of the city's population, and account for 19 percent of the victims, Gason said. African Americans are 7 percent of the population, but make up 21 percent of victims.
These are crimes of opportunity, agreed Greg Suhr, police captain of the Bayview district where Mrs. Cheng lives. Victims tend to be vulnerable — the elderly, the young, women, "whoever's easiest."
Mrs. Cheng is about 4 feet 10 inches tall, he said. One of her a##ailants, a 15-year-old who was arrested and charged with felony a##ault, is 6 feet tall.
Thirty-two officers have been rea##igned to foot patrol to reduce violence in Mrs. Cheng's neighborhood and other areas where a##aults have occurred.
The department opened drop-in centers where Chinese-Americans can find officers who speak their language and who will take reports of crimes and offer information.
These measures were welcomed by Asians and blacks alike. The announcement led to some frustration on the part of black residents, however, who questioned the police chief at a community town hall on Wednesday about why such measures weren't taken when African-Americans were the victims.
Some of the violence suffered by Asian-Americans in San Francisco comes from the fact they are moving into neighborhoods that have crime, said Rev. Amos Brown, pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco and head of the city's NAACP chapter.
"Without diminishing the seriousness of what happened to the Asian seniors — this has been happening to African-American seniors for a long time," Brown said. "If you move into a community where there is violence, you will be a victim."
In Mrs. Cheng's family, she says her elderly mother, her 13-year-old daughter, her husband, her brother and her sister have been mugged over the last 10 years.
Racism is not a word thrown around carelessly in this politically correct city. Accusations of that sort are hard for Mrs. Cheng to square with the smiles she trades with her African-American neighbors of 20 years, or with her teenage daughter's black friends, who walk her home to keep her safe.
When Asian-Americans moved into black neighborhoods like Mrs. Cheng's, it may have created tensions that were exacerbated by economic stresses and deep language and cultural barriers, experts say.
"From the African-American community's perspective, they feel like they're being invaded by outsiders, and they want to defend their own turf," said Edward Chang, a University of California, Irvine, professor who has studied race relations. "It invites a sense of resentment."
The incidents have led community organizations to develop a plan, as summer approaches, to involve as many kids as possible in jobs, programs and community organizations.
San Francisco can't arrest its way out of this, said Joe Marshall, president of the San Francisco Police Commission.
"You have kids that are hurt, who don't have adult guidance. said Marshall, who is African-American, and directs Omega Boys Club, an organization that steers teenagers away from street violence. "They take that out on everybody. If you lock them up, they get out, do the same thing."
Zhirui Wang — whose husband, Tian Sheng Yu, died in April — is quietly calling for an end to violence.
The San Francisco painter and contractor hit his head on the sidewalk after being punched in broad daylight in Oakland. Two 18-year-olds were arrested with help from numerous witnesses, who were outraged by the attack.
"Everyone is asking what about justice? To the Yu family, it is simple," she said through a translator. "True justice is when there will be no more violence."
EarthLink - U.S. News
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|05-15-2010, 04:02 PM||away - #2|
|05-15-2010, 04:21 PM||away - #3|
All them Asians better have papers or at least a visa or I'm callin AZ!!!
but seriously, it's funny how people think that violence and racism between two non-white groups is so strange. They're people too. Race doesn't dictate racism, people do.
|05-15-2010, 04:56 PM||away - #4|
i swear Asians own whole city's in Cali...see Diamond Bar & Rowland Heights
but racism will never die obviously...i just moved to Boise and the force is strong out here
|05-15-2010, 04:59 PM||online - #5|
As a black man.......................I'D !! MY SON(S) UP FOR DOING SOME BULL!! LIKE THAT AND THEN I'D CARRY THEIR BLOODY a##ES STRAIGHT TO THE POLICE STATION TO BE BOOKED IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE MY THOUGHTS ABOUT RACISM BUT WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES BEATING ON AN ELDERLY WOMAN DO FOR ANYONE??? i WOULD SAY BLACK MEN NEED TO STEP UP BUT WE HAVE THEM ADOPTING WHITE KIDS NOW LIKE THE DUDE IN THE OTHER POST. WTF!!!! I SAY FIND THEM TEENS AND STONE THEIR a##ES!
SOME OL !! a## !! RIGHT THERE!!!
|05-15-2010, 09:54 PM||away - #6|
I know... !! freaked my out when I first saw that pic... It was mind !!ing... sometimes I still wonder if it's real... I know that isn't likely but that is one good as photoshop job, if that's what it is.
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