In the latest caught-on-camera racism against Asian Americans in recent months, a New York City man was called a racial slur in a violent attack inside a 7-Eleven.
Sungmin Kwon of Bayside said he went into the store over the weekend to get some snacks when a white man went on a "disgusting racist rant against Asians," saying that they were filthy and don't belong in this country. It was a scene that has become all too familiar for Asian Americans who are being blamed for the coronavirus pandemic, which started in Wuhan, China.
Kwon said he called out the man on his racism and the man approached him, trying to kick him and calling him a racial slur. A cellphone video taken by Kwon shows the man appearing to push him.
"He did push me to the ground but it didn't hurt," Kwon said.
The NYPD said the department is investigating the incident as a hate crime but didn't provide other details.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James has set up a hotline to report harassment or other targeted crime. Some of those incidents, such as this one, have been filmed and posted online.
The FBI reported earlier this year that there has been an uptick in hate crimes and harassment against Asian Americans since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Some people have blamed China and Asians in general for the spread of coronavirus; President Donald Trump at times has called it the “Chinese virus.”
“This incident is a show of disgusting behavior by a violent hateful racist physically attacking Sungmin while calling him ‘gook’, a racial slur of the highest degree of offense to Asian-Americans," New York Senator John Liu reacted to the video.
"More positively, just days earlier a hundred local residents had marched peacefully in support of Black Lives Matter, passing this very location, representing the deep desire for racial equality," he added.