NEW YORK — With a rise in attacks on Asian Americans, local leaders including Mayor Bill de Blasio are calling on all New Yorkers to stand up to racism and bigotry of any kind.
Included in that fight is Rev. Al Sharpton, who felt that Black Americans especially could empathize with these acts of bigotry.
“Black folk have suffered more than anyone one in this country and we should not have laryngitis when we see Asian people treated the way we have been treated,” Sharpton said Saturday.
Earlier this week, an Asian woman was violently attacked and thrown to the ground in Flushing. The victim’s son said the attacker yelled anti-Asian epithets. Celebrities, including Olivia Munn, have tweeted out against attacks and helped lead to the arrest of a suspect in one such attack.
Hate crimes against Asians have risen during the pandemic.
Sharpton blamed former President Donald Trump for fueling this type of violence.
“He tried to blame Asian Americans for coronavirus. If he had done his job and listened to the CDC, we would not have had the level of deaths and the level of illnesses that we had.”
Sharpton was joined by State Sen. John Liu, who says the former president’s dangerous rhetoric has had a direct connection to a rise in hate crimes.
“The Asian American community faced a double virus — a virus of hatred and bigotry. As Reverend Al said, we were blamed and scapegoated for this virus. [Trump] incessantly called it the China virus.”
Mayor de Blasio tweeted his support Saturday afternoon.
New York City is proud to be home to one of the largest Asian populations in the country and we stand with them. Hatred has no home in our city.
To our Asian communities: this is your home. This is your city.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) February 20, 2021
“New York City is proud to be home to one of the largest Asian populations in the country and we stand with them. Hatred has no home in our city. To our Asian communities: this is your home. This is your city.”
Later Saturday, there will be a news conference on Canal Street letting people know about NYC Safe Walks and how people can organize them in their communities.