Anti-Chinese Hate Crimes Denounced
From The World Journal
April 2, 2004

Hate crimes suspected to target Chinese residents in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, have had the attention of majority communities. State Assemblyman William Colton said while public scribbling is a misdemeanor, inscription of “Kill Chinese” at Kings Highway stop of N Train should be treated as a felony, and that he planned to propose a bill at the State Assembly. Incidents like this should not be dismissed as trivial, Colton said, and something must be done before it is too late. He asked Chinese to call the police once they fall victim to hate crimes and said he would help to expand the coverage of ethnic conflicts like this in English-language press to warn the mainstream against targeting Chinese.

On Kings Highway, where Colton’s office is located, anti-Semitic graffiti were also found recently. Colton helped to assemble Jewish leaders, religious and community figures to call for the attention of society before the situation deteriorated.

Since then, Chinese families found their windows smashed by stones and subway stops covered with anti-Chinese scribbling. Coverage in Chinese press helped recall the anti-Semitic offenses and drew the attention of the mainstream media to the new victim.

The Brooklyn Chinese-American Association will hold a community meeting on reports of Chinese students at Lafayette High School being beaten repeatedly. The discussion will focus on how to solve the systematic problem of public schools. The bullies, however, were found to be mostly African American students. The campus violence, together with the graffiti, has shown the ethnic tensions in Brooklyn. Colton emphasized that precautions should be taken before things run out of control.

Donald Conceicao, chief of Police Precinct 62, which includes Bensonhurst, said the neighborhood has seen a sharp increase in the Asian population, and that the precinct pays special attention to these people. The family, whose windows were smashed last Saturday reported the case to the police yesterday and called for more patrolling.

Stephanie Wong, a Chinese assistant to Colton, said the assemblyman’s office deals with matters in the community, large and small, and that white residents complain about the noise their minority neighbors made, dirty sidewalks, illegal parking and gangster problems, which Colton has all helped to deal with. Wong called on Chinese to keep in touch with Colton’s office, where Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking assistants are on hand so that there is no language barrier. The telephone of Colton’s office is: 718-236-1598.

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Translated from Chinese by Shasha Dai.

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