MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

METROFOCUS: April 15, 2021

Hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to be on the rise across the country. But the scourge appears to be happening with particular frequency right here, in New York. Tonight, as a part of our Exploring Hate initiative we’re joined by ABC 7 Eyewitness News reporter CeFaan Kim who has been reporting on these stories and has himself been racially abused while working.

AIRED: April 15, 2021 | 0:28:38
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND

JENNA FLANAGAN

>>"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY --

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN

GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE

AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND

BY --

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND

JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP

MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH

WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, PATTI

ASKWITH KENNER.

>>> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

I'M JACK FORD.

ATTACKS ON ASIAN AMERICANS ARE

ON THE RISE.

THAT'S TRUE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

BUT ESPECIALLY TRUE RIGHT HERE

IN NEW YORK.

SEEN IN TROUBLING VIDEOS, PEOPLE

BEING ASSAULTED VERBALLY AND

PHYSICALLY ON THE STREET, IN THE

SUBWAY, OFTEN IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.

IN FEBRUARY, THE CITY LAUNCHED

AN ASIAN HATE CRIME TASK FORCE

TO HELP TAKE ON THIS PROBLEM,

BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT MANY

IN OUR COMMUNITIES ARE ON EDGE.

THERE'S FEAR, ANXIETY AND INDEED

EVEN ANGER.

TONIGHT, AS PART OF OUR

EXPLORING HATE INITIATIVE,

EXAMINING THE ROOTS AND RISE OF

ANTI-S

ANTI-SEMITISM, WE WANT TO TALK

TO CEFAAN KIM.

WE WANT TO GET HIS PERSPECTIVE,

BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND

PERSONALLY ON ALL THESE ISSUES.

WELCOME.

THANKS SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME,

JACK.

>> LET'S START WITH THE BIGGER

PICTURE QUESTION, IF WE CAN.

THAT IS WHAT ARE WE SEEING IN

TERMS OF NUMBERS AND HOW TELLING

ARE THESE NUMBERS, THE CHANGES

IN THE NUMBERS IN THE LAST FEW

YEARS IN TERMS OF THE LEVEL OF

ATTACKS AND PERHAPS EVEN THE

REASON FOR THE ATTACKS WE'RE

SEEING?

>> SURE, THAT'S GA GOOD QUESTIO.

SO FAR THIS YEAR TO DATE SO FAR

WE ARE ALREADY OVER THE AMOUNT

OF ATTACKS THAT WERE REPORTED TO

GET TO THE PLACE IN ALL OF 2020.

WE'RE ABOVE 30 FOR THE QUARTER.

THAT WOULD PUT US ABOUT FOUR

TIMES HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR.

THAT ALL BEING SAID, LAW

ENFORCEMENT HAS ALWAYS FELT THIS

WAS AN UNDERREPORTED CRIME, SO

THERE ARE SOME IN LAW

ENFORCEMENT THAT BELIEVE THE

NUMBER NOW THAT WE'RE SEEING IS

REFLECTIVE OF THE REAL REALITY

AND OTHERS THINK IT'S HIGHER.

THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS

HAPPENING HERE.

YOU CERTAINLY HAVE THE PANDEMIC

AND THE POLITICAL RHETORIC THAT

SORT OF GIVE LICENSE TO THIS

KIND OF HATE THAT'S CERTAINLY

FUELLING AND ADDING TO THIS.

THE QUESTION IS BY HOW MUCH.

WE DON'T REALLY KNOW HOW MUCH OF

THIS IS ATTRIBUTED TO THAT.

COMMON SENSE IS THAT HATE

AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS LONG

PREDATED LAST YEAR OR THE

FRE

PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION.

WE KNOW THERE'S AN UNDERLYING

ISSUE WITH HATE AND BIAS AGAINST

THIS COMMUNITY.

WE JUST DON'T HAVE AN ACCURATE

BASELINE, TO BE HONEST.

>> YOU MENTIONED THE HISTORY.

WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN FAR

MORE WELCOMING TO SOME GROUPS

THAN WE HAVE TO OTHERS OVER THE

YEARS IN TERMS OF OUR

IMMIGRATION POLICIES.

GO BACK TO 1882 WHEN THE U.S.

CONGRESS PASSED THE CHINESE

EXCLUSION ACT, THIS WAS THEN

FIRST AND I BELIEVE STILL THE

ONLY LAW WHERE ESSENTIALLY WE AS

A NATION SAID WE ARE GOING TO

EXCLUDE AN ENTIRE GROUP FROM

COMING HERE.

YOU GO BACK THAT FAR AND

CERTAINLY EVEN FARTHER.

LET'S TALK ABOUT WITH THAT AS A

BACKDROP AND I'M GOING TO COME

BACK AND GET YOUR SENSE ON THE

IMPACT.

YOU TALK ABOUT THE POLITICAL

RHETORIC.

YOU CAN'T IGNORE THAT.

I DON'T THINK WE CAN IGNORE THAT

WHEN WE'RE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

AS TO WHY THIS HAPPENED.

AS A REPORTER, YOU'RE A

CHRONICLER OF ALL OF THIS.

YOU SEE THE IMPACT OF WHAT'S

YOUR SENSE OF WHAT THE IMPACT

HAS BEEN OF THE POLITICAL

RHETORIC?

WE HAVE TO SEE MOST ESPECIALLY

FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP CALLING

THIS THE CHINESE FLU, OTHER

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ECHOING

THAT.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT BEEN?

>> LET ME SORT OF UNPACK IT IN

ORDER.

YOU MENTIONED THE EXCLUSION ACT.

THIS IS SYSTEMIC AND SORT OF

BAKED INTO THIS COUNTRY.

LOOK, I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS JOB

FOR 20 YEARS IN NEW YORK CITY,

SO I KNOW THESE CRIMES AND

ATTACKS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN

HAPPENING.

WHEN THE LANGUAGE CAME OUT TO

HAVE ADMINISTRATION, IT'S

INTERESTING BECAUSE EVERYONE IN

MY POSITION, WE BRACED OURSELVES

BECAUSE WE KNEW THIS WAS GOING

TO SORT OF UNLOAD WHAT'S ALREADY

BEEN HAPPENING.

IF YOU LOOK AT ONE OF THE BETTER

ORGANI

ORGANIZATIONS, STOP AAPI HATE,

THEY ACTUALLY SEPARATE WITHIN

THE OVERALL TABULATION WHAT THAW

CONSIDER COVID RELATED.

IN FACT, THE NYPD DOES THAT AS

WELL.

THEY WILL BREAK DOWN A HATE

CRIME AGAINST ASIAN AMERICAN

THAT'S MOTIVATED BY THE RACE OF

THE VICTIM AND SEPARATELY

MOTIVATED BY COVID-19.

ACCORDING TO STOP AAPI HATE,

THEY WOULD SAY I HIGHLY DOUBT

THAT IN 2019 HUMANS WERE --

THAT'S ATTRIBUTED TO WHAT

HAPPENED LAST YEAR.

IN THEIR CALCULATION THAT'S ONLY

7% OF THE OVERALL NUMBER.

IT GOES BACK TO THE THING WE'RE

SEEING THAT THIS ONLY SORT OF

GAME LICENSE AND NORMALIZED I

THINK WHAT WAS ALWAYS HAPPENING.

WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING IN THIS

MOMENT IS VICTIMS IN THIS

COMMUNITY ARE REPORTING IT TO

POLICE AND, B, SPEAKING TO

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA LIKE

MYSELF.

I HAVE THIS SORT OF THEORY THIS

IS IN SOME WAYS A CONTINUATION

OF -- IT'S THE FIRST TIME THE

ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY MARCHED

OUT IN THE STREETS IN SOLIDARITY

WITH BLACK AND BROWN FOLKS

AFTER A YEAR OF THIS KEXACERBATD

HATE IN 2020, THE COMMUNITY FELT

LIKE WE MARCHED WITH YOU, IT'S

TIME TO RECIPROCATE.

THERE WAS A LEVEL OF FRUSTRATION

THAT NOBODY ELSE WAS STANDING UP

FOR THE COMMUNITY.

THEY SORT OF HAD A ENOUGH AND

GOT TO A BREAKING POINT WHERE

THEY SAID, I'M DONE WITH THIS, I

WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS.

THE DIFFICULTY FOR ME WAS IN THE

BEGINNING FINDING ONE VICTIM WHO

WOULD GO ON THE RECORD AND THEN

ONE AFTER ANOTHER AFTER ANOTHER.

I CAN TELL YOU THAT EACH AND

EVERY ONE TOLD ME THEY WOULD NOT

HAVE BEEN DOING THIS PUBLICLY IF

IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE MOMENT

AND THEY'RE SPEAKING OUT NOW

BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FEEL LIKE

THEY WERE ALONE.

I THINK WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING

IS THAT NOT NECESSARILY THAT

THERE'S A RISE IN ATTACKS -- AND

THAT'S CERTAINLY TRUE TO A

DEGREE -- BUT THIS IS MORE ABOUT

AN OUTSPOKENNESS THAT'S NEW.

THERE'S A LOT OF REASONS FOR

THAT, BUT THIS IS A PIVOT POINT,

I THINK.

CULTURALLY THIS COMMUNITY IS NOT

ACCUSTOMED TO WEARING ITS TRAUMA

AND PAIN PUBLICLY WHETHER IT'S

GENERATIONAL, WHETHER IT'S THE

MOTION WE'RE IN, THAT'S STARTING

TO CHANGE NOW.

>> WE SEEM TO HAVE A SENSE EARLY

ON WHEN WE WERE TRYING TO

CONFRONT THIS PHENOMENON OF

THESE ATTACKS, THAT THE VICTIMS

WERE PRIMARILY OLDER CITIZENS OR

WOMEN.

IS THAT ACCURATE?

>> YES AND NO.

IT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

WHAT'S INTERESTING IS IN THE

BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC WE SAW

SORT OF LIKE THIS SLOW DRUM BEAT

OF THESE INCIDENTS, BUT THEY

MAIN HAPPENED FROM WHAT WE KNOW

NEW YORK CITY AND THE BAY AREA.

I HAPPEN TO THINK IT'S HAPPENING

EVERYWHERE BUT WE HAPPEN TO HAVE

JOURNALISTS IN THESE CITIES

DOING A BETTER JOB REACHING

THESE VICTIMS BUT SOURCED WITH

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND NOT TO

MENTION WHERE YOU FIND THE

DENSITY OF SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS.

IT'S AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT.

WE SORT OF HAD A LULL THROUGH

THE SUMMER AND THE FALL AND IT

PICKED UP AGAIN IN THE BAY AREA

AT FIRST IN EARLY JANUARY.

I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, I KNOW IT'S

HAPPENING HERE.

IT'S JUST A MATTER OF HEARING

ABOUT IT AND REACHING VICTIMS

AND CONVINCING THEM TO DO THIS.

I WOULD SAY THAT I KNEW THAT IN

JANUARY WE WERE SEEING PRIMARILY

TO GO BACK TO YOUR POINT THE

ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE BEING

TARGETED.

THAT WAS REALLY SORT OF JARRING

FOR AMERICANS TO SEE THE

PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE BEING

TARGETED IN THAT KIND OF WAY.

THEN AFTER A WEEK OR TWO OF

FIGHTING THAT KIND OF PROFILE

AND VICTIMS, WE STARTED TO SEE

ALL OF THE SUDDEN THE ATTACKS

WERE TARGETED AGAINST A BROADER

POPULATION.

DIDN'T MATTER WHAT GENDER,

DIDN'T MATTER WHAT AGE.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE MAN STABBED

IN CHINA TOWN WITH A KITCHEN

KNIFE, HE WAS A 36-YEAR-OLD MAN

WALKING HOME FROM WORK.

FOR ME, THAT OBVIOUSLY SHOOK ME

BECAUSE THAT WAS THE FIRST BIG

ATTACK IN THE CITY THAT WE SAW

TO THAT POINT THAT DIDN'T FIT

THAT PROFILE.

AGAIN, GOING BACK TO MY

EXPERIENCE, I KNEW THIS WASN'T

JUST THE OLD AND THE VULNERABLE

AND WOMEN.

SO I MADE IT A POINT TO REALLY

SORT OF SHOW THE PUBLIC THAT YOU

COULD REALLY BE ANYONE AND

ANYWHERE.

WE EVEN FOUND VICTIMS IN THE

SUBURBS.

WHAT IT CAME DOWN TO IS I THINK

THAT THE NARRATIVE I'M TRYING TO

PUT OUT THERE IS THAT ASIAN

AMERICANS ARE NOT IMMUNE TO HATE

FROM ANY SORT OF PERPETRATOR OR

AGE GROUP OR DEMOGRAPHIC.

IT IS JUST SOMETHING WE'VE LIVED

WITH OUR ENTIRE LIVES.

IT'S OUR REALITY.

>> I MENTIONED IN THE

INTRODUCTION ABOUT YOUR OWN

EXPERIENCE ON THE JOB REPORTING

AND A LEVEL OF ABUSE BEING

DIRECTED AT YOU.

TELL US ABOUT THAT.

>> YEAH.

IT'S INTERESTING, I DIDN'T THINK

ABOUT THAT UNTIL RECENTLY.

THIS MIGHT BE SORT OF DEPRESSING

TO ADMIT BUT IT'S NORMAL TO ME.

I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN

PHILADELPHIA.

IT'S THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE,

IN QUOTES.

I FACED BIAS AND HATE LITERALLY

EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE AND

CHILDHOOD TO THE POINT WHERE IT

WAS BEYOND JUST GETTING MY BUTT

KICKED EVERYSYSTEMIC.

I HAD A TEACHER WHO OPENLY

MOCKED THE SOUND OF MY NAME AND

HAD THE CLASS LAUGH

COLLECTIVELY.

IT WAS TRAUMATIC.

OVER THE YEARS I'VE LEARNED TO

COMPARTMENTALIZE THAT.

I'VE HAD DRILL SERGEANTS TELL ME

TO GO BACK TO CHINA.

I'M KOREAN AMERICAN.

I DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY

THAT'S HURTFUL AND RACIST.

I'M NOW IN A ROLE WHERE I'VE

S

SIGNED UP FOR MY COUNTRY AND I'M

BEING TOLD THIS IS NOT MY

COUNTRY.

THIS IS SO SYSTEMIC AND NORMAL

TO A DEGREE I SORT OF LEARNED AS

AN ADULT TO KIND OF LIVE WITH

IT.

ALL THROUGHOUT MY CAREER AS A

JOURNALIST IN THE CITY, I WENT

THROUGH ALL KINDS OF THINGS IN

EVERY POCKET OF THE CITY.

I NEVER REALLY CARED TO DOCUMENT

IT UNTIL I THINK THE FIRST TIME

THAT I REMEMBER DOING THIS

DELIBERATELY WAS, I WAS COVERING

A SITUATION IN BROOKLYN WHERE

YOU HAD A POCKET OF THE ORTHODOX

JEWISH COMMUNITY THAT WAS CAUGHT

IN VIOLATION NUMEROUS TIMES OF

THE COVID PROTOCOLS PUT IN PLACE

BY THE STATE.

SO ALL JOURNALISTS FROM ALL

MEDIA OUTLETS WERE DOWN THERE

TRYING TO PUT THAT STORY OUT

THERE.

AS I'M THERE, I'M BEING CALLED A

RACIAL SLUR ON CAMERA.

I DIDN'T EVEN THINK AT THE

MOMENT THAT IT WAS EDITORIALLY

RELEVANT AND I WASN'T GOING TO

INCLUDE IT, BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

I THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

MY PHOTOGRAPHER SORT OF PUT THIS

IDEA IN MY HEAD.

THE FACT THAT IT'S HAPPENING TO

ME WAS RELEVANT TO INCLUDE

BECAUSE IT SORT OF EMPHASIZED

THE RESISTANCE TO SCIENCE OR THE

BELIEF IN COVID, THE

POLITICIZATION OF THIS MOMENT.

EVERYTHING SORT OF IT

CONVENIENTLY WITH THE PUSHBACK

COMING OUT OF THE

ADMINISTRATION, WHETHER IT WAS

DON'T BELIEVE IN WEARING A MASK

OR SOCIAL DISTANCING OR SCIENCE

OR RACISM.

SO I DECIDED TO INCLUDE IT

BECAUSE IT SORT OF ALL FIT INTO

THIS BUCKET OF LOOK WHAT'S

HAPPENING TO THE MESSAGING IN

WASHINGTON, IT'S LITERALLY BEING

REPEATED ON THE GROUND AND

THROWN BACK AT ME.

THAT WAS SOMETIME IN THE SUMMER

OR FALL OF LAST YEAR THAT THAT

HAPPENED.

>> LET ME COME BACK TO SOMETHING

YOU MENTIONED BEFORE.

WE WERE TALKING ABOUT VARIOUS

ATTACKS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE.

I ALSO MENTIONED THE ASIAN HATE

TASK FORCE THAT THE CITY IS

PUTTING IN PLACE.

WE LIKE TO THINK THAT IF WE CAN

CREATE LAWS SUCH AS HATE CRIME

LAWS, THAT THAT WILL NOT ONLY

PROTECT PEOPLE BUT MAYBE TEND TO

DIMINISH THE PROBLEM.

WE KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE, BUT AT

LEAST IT'S A STEP.

MY QUESTION IS YOU MENTIONED THE

STABBING IN CHINATOWN.

I'M SURE PEOPLE WERE SURPRISED

TO HEAR THAT THAT WAS NOT BEING

CATEGORIZED AS A HATE CRIME.

YET WE'VE SEEN OTHER CASES, ONE

FAIRLY RECENTLY WHERE THE MAN

KNOCKED A 60 SOME-YEAR-OLD ASIAN

WOMAN TO THE GROUND AND STOMPED

ON HER, JUST AN AWFUL, AWFUL

SCENARIO AND THAT IS BEING

DESIGNATED A HATE CRIME.

I'M A FORMER PROSECUTOR, SO YOU

KNOW THERE'S CERTAIN THINGS YOU

HAVE TO LOOK FOR TO PROVE A

CASE.

FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, HOW

DIFFICULT DO YOU THINK IT IS TO

GET PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND WHY

SOME CASES CAN BE CALLED AND

PROSECUTED AS HATE CRIMES AND

OTHERS CAN'T?

>> IT'S EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

THAT'S THE CHALLENGE I'M HAVING.

LOOK, I THINK THE PROBLEM THAT

THE AVERAGE FOLK DON'T LIVE IN

THIS LEGAL WORLD.

YOU AND I KNOW WHAT THE LEGAL

CRITERIA IS TO HAVE A CERTAIN

AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE TO ELEVATE

THIS TO A HATE CRIME CHARGE.

I THINK THE BROADER DISCUSSION

AMONG THE AVERAGE CITIZEN IS

HATE NOT IN THE LEGAL SENSE, BUT

HATE AS WE KNOW IT AS HUMAN

BEINGS.

I THINK THE PROBLEM IS YOU HAVE

SORT OF INCIDENTS WHERE YOU

CAN'T PROVE IT'S HATE, BUT THE

COMMON SENSE WOULD TELL YOU,

OBVIOUSLY I WAS TARGETED FOR

THAT REASON.

THERE'S A DISTINCTION THERE.

I WOULD EVEN ARGUE THERE ARE

CASES WHERE THERE MIGHT NOT BE

ANY EVIDENCE OF HATE, BUT YOU

WONDER IF THE PERSON WAS

TARGETED BECAUSE OF IMPLICIT

BIAS OR IMPLICIT FEELING THAT

ALONG WITH BEING ASIAN AMERICAN,

ONE OF THE STEREOTYPES IS THAT

THEY'RE VULNERABLE.

LET'S BE HONEST, A LOT OF THESE

VIOLENT CRIMES HAPPEN IN

COMMUNITIES THAT ARE PLAGUED

WITH CRIME.

THEY'RE HAVING TO VICTIMS OF ALL

DIFFERENT COLORS AS WELL.

SO THE QUESTION IS, IF YOU SEE

AN ATTACK AGAINST AN ELDERLY

ASIAN WOMAN SOMEPLACE IN

BROOKLYN, I WOULD ARGUE THAT

ALSO HAPPENS TO AN ELDERLY BLACK

OR BROWN WOMAN.

BUT THE QUESTION YOU CAN'T

REALLY PROVE IS DID THAT SUSPECT

LOOK AT THAT ELDERLY ASIAN WOMAN

AND THINK THEY'RE ASIAN, THEY

DON'T SPEAK OUT, THEY'RE JUST

GOING TO TAKE IT ON THE CHIN AND

THAT'S SORT OF BAKED IN.

PERHAPS IN THE SUSPECT'S MIND

THEY DON'T EVEN REALIZE THERE'S

IMPLICIT BIAS.

THAT'S BEEN DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN

TO FOLKS.

JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK IT IS,

IT'S DIFFERENT TO PROVE IT IN

COURT.

THE CHALLENGE I'VE HAD OVER THE

COURSE OF 2020 WAS THE MESSAGING

OUT OF THE NYPD.

THEY WOULD AUTOMATICALLY OFF THE

BAT CATEGORICALLY DISMISS THE

POSSIBILITY OF A HATE CRIME

BECAUSE THE LANGUAGE WAS THERE

WERE NO WORDS SPOKEN.

WE KNOW THE MOST OBVIOUS

EVIDENCE IN AN ATTACK THAT CAN

CATEGORIZE IT AS A HATE CRIME IS

A RACIAL SLUR.

OFTEN THEY WOULD SAY NO WORDS

WERE EXCHANGED, IT'S NOT A HATE

CRIME.

THAT INFURIATED THE COMMUNITY.

YOU WOULD OFTEN SEE ANTI-SEMITIC

INCIDENTS IN GROCERY STORES AND

NO WORDS WERE EXCHANGED.

WHY ISN'T THAT POSSIBILITY AT

LEAST THERE?

CREDIT TO THEM, TO THE NYPD THAT

AFTER MONTHS OF MY REPORTING

THEY FINALLY SORT OF UNDERSTOOD

THAT FRUSTRATION AND THEY HAVE

COMPLETELY REVERSED THAT

LANGUAGE.

THEY HAVE SAID PUBLICLY TIME AND

TIME AGAIN SINCE JANUARY THAT

ABSENT ANY WORDS SPOKEN, ABSENT

ANY OBVIOUS APPARENT MOTIVE,

THEY WOULD LOOK AT THE

POSSIBILITY.

I THINK THAT'S ALL THE COMMUNITY

IS ASKING FOR.

DON'T DISMISS IT OFF THE TOP.

AT LEAST LOOK AT THE

POSSIBILITY.

THAT'S WHERE WE ARE NOW.

CHARGING AND PROSECUTING IT IS

DIFFERENT.

GOING BACK TO THE STABBING, THE

MANHATTAN D.A., YOU SAW ALL OF A

SUDDEN POLICE SLAP A HATE CRIME

ONTO THIS ATTACK WHICH I WOULD

ARGUE TWO MONTHS PRIOR THEY

WOULDN'T HAVE DONE.

THE D.A. WITHIN 24 HOURS DROPS

THAT CHARGE.

PROSECUTION IS DIFFERENT BUT THE

ISSUE WITH THAT CASE

SPECIFICALLY IS THE D.A. MADE

THE ARGUMENT THERE IS NO WAY THE

SUSPECT COULD HAVE KNOWN THE

VICTIM'S RACE BECAUSE THE VICTIM

WAS WEARING A MASK AND HAT.

THE SUSPECT ADMITTED TO POLICE

THAT HE, QUOTE X, DID NOT LIKE E

WAY HE LOOKED AT ME, WHICH MEANS

HE MADE CONTACT.

THE MOST OBVIOUS TRAIT OF AN

ASIAN MAN IS HIS EYES.

>> THERE SHOULD BE SOME FACTORS

THAT A PROSECUTOR CAN LOOK TO

AND SAY I DON'T HAVE THE WORDS,

BUT I HAVE SOMETHING ELSE HERE I

THINK I CAN USE TO PROVE IT.

>> RIGHT.

>> LET ME SHIFT OUR FOCUS, IF I

CAN.

YOU'VE REPORTED ON THIS, THE

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF HATE AND

DISCRIMINATION.

YOU DID A SPECIAL REPORT ABOUT

BUSES THAT TAKE PEOPLE TO

CASINOS THAT ARE SOMETIMES HOURS

AND HOURS AWAY AND THE

UNEXPECTED REASON WHY MANY OF

THEM ARE MAKING THAT TRIP EVERY

DAY, I'M GOING TO ROLL THAT

PIECE RIGHT NOW AND THEN COME

OUT AND I WANT TO TALK WITH YOU

ABOUT IT.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

>> WATCHING SAN CHAN, YOU MAY

THINK THE SENIOR IS ABOUT TO

HAVE A BIT FUN.

BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT PLEASURE.

THIS IS ABOUT SURVIVAL.

SPEAKING IN KOREAN, HE TELLS ME

LIFE IS TOUGH, SO HE DOES THIS

TO HELP MAKE ENDS MEET.

EVERY MORNING HE RIDES THIS BUS

TO THE STANDS CASINO IN

BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA.

HE IS ONE OF ASIAN AMERICAN

SENIORS WHO MAKE THIS TRIP.

THEY DON'T DO IT TO GAMBLE.

THEY DO IT FOR THIS.

>> WHEN THEY GET OFF THE BUS,

THE CASINO GIVES YOU A $45

CREDIT.

THEY SELL THIS FOR $38.

THAT BUS RIDE COSTS $20.

AT THE END OF THE DAY THEY

POCKET $18.

>> CHAN SELLS THE CREDIT TO A

FELLOW PASSENGER WHO IN TURN

USES IT TO GAMBLE.

THERE

ON EACH BUS MORE THAN HALF OF

THE PASSENGERS DO WHAT CHAN

DOES.

ON ANY GIVEN DAY THERE ARE

UPWARDS OF 300 SENIORS WHO RIDE

THE BUS AND SPEND ANOTHER FIVE

HOURS IN THIS WAITING ROOM FOR

THE NEXT BUS RIDE BACK.

SOME OF THEM ARE HOMELESS, ALL

OF THEM ARE LIVING BELOW THE

POVERTY LINE.

>> THAT SEGMENT OF THE

POPULATION DO NOT REALLY GET

TOLD.

>> ACCORDING TO THE CITY'S MOST

RECENT MEASURE, ASIAN AMERICANS

IN NEW YORK HAVE THE HIGHEST

LEVEL OF POVERTY AMONG ALL

ETHNIC GROUPS AND MORE THAN 1

OUT OF 4 PEOPLE, IT IS A

STAGGERING NUMBER.

>> THEY DON'T WANT TO STEP

FORWARD AND ADMIT I'M IN A

SITUATION WHERE I NEED SOME

HELP.

IT'S A CULTURAL BARRIER.

>> ADVOCATES SAY PART OF THE

PROBLEM IS POVERTY IN THE

COMMUNITY IS OFTEN UNSEEN.

>> THEY ARE HIDDEN HOMELESS.

THEY ARE TRIPLING UP LIVING IN

THESE LIKE CUBICLES THEY SHARE

WITH TEN PEOPLE WITHIN A ONE

BEDROOM APARTMENT FOR EXAMPLE.

>> IN THE MEANTIME COUNTLESS

SENIORS LIKE CHAN WILL KEEP

RIDING THESE BUSES.

THE QUESTION IS WILL ANYONE

CARE?

>> SO UNDERSTAND AGAIN I'M BACK

TALKING WITH CEFAAN KIM, ABC 7

REPORTER.

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE HIDDEN

EPIDEMIC OF POVERTY AFFECTING

NEW YORK CITY'S SENIOR ASIAN

AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

TELL ME ABOUT THAT STORY.

HOW DID YOU FIND IT?

HOW SURPRISED WERE YOU WITH HOW

THIS STORY UNFOLDED?

>> I WAS STUNNED.

I'M NOT GOING TO LIE TO YOU.

THESE BUSES, ANY NEW YORKER

KNOWS WHERE THESE BUSES GO,

WHO'S ON THEM.

AND WE LIVED OUR ENTIRE LIVES IN

NEW YORK SEEING THAT.

THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME I KNEW

THE REALITY.

I WAS COMPLETELY TAKEN ABACK.

IT'S HEARTBREAKING.

I'M NOT INNOCENT HERE.

WE SORT OF MAKE OUR OWN

STEREOTYPES.

YOU JOKE, OH, THESE PEOPLE LOVE

TO GAMBLE.

TO SOME DEGREE THAT'S TRUE, BUT

THE FACT THAT WE SORT OF USE

THAT STEREOTYPE TO REFUSE TO

LOOK DEEPER INTO THIS ISSUE,

WE'RE ALL GUILTY OF THAT.

THAT IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM

BECAUSE THE STATISTICS, EVEN

ACCORDING TO THE CITY, SHOW THAT

ASIAN AMERICANS AS FAR AS

MINORITY GROUPS IN NEW YORK CITY

HAVE THE HIGHEST EEST POVERTY .

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT 1 IN 4 ASIAN

AMERICAN NEW YORKERS ARE LIVING

UNDER THE POVERTY LINE.

WE ALL GO TO CHINA TOWN.

WE SEE ELDERLY FOLKS COLLECTING

CANS.

BUT THEY'RE ALMOST INVISIBLE.

THE TRUTH IS THIS HAS REAL WORLD

IMPACT.

STATE FUNDING DOESN'T HIT THESE

GROUPS, THESE COMMUNITIES.

THE CITY ALLOCATED, THE STATE

AND CITY ALLOCATE LESS THAN 2%

OF ALL THE FUNDING FOR POVERTY

TO ASIAN AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS,

WHEN IN FACT 1 IN 4 ASIAN

AMERICANS LIVE IN POVERTY.

THERE'S A HUGE DISPARITY THERE.

THAT'S THE GOAL OF PUTTING THAT

REALITY OUT THERE TO CONNECT

THAT DIVIDE.

BUT THE PROBLEM ALSO LIES WITH

THE COMMUNITY ITSELF.

THIS GOES BACK TOALSO TO THE

ATTACKS.

WE'RE NOT CONDITIONED CULTURALLY

TO WEAR OUR PAIN AND STRUGGLES

PUBLICLY.

YOU HEAR PEOPLE SAY I DON'T WANT

TO CAUSE TROUBLE.

I JUST WANT TO PUT MY HEAD DOWN,

WORK HARD.

FOR A LONG TIME THAT WAS

CONSIDERED THE RESPECTABLE THING

TO DO.

THIS GOES BACK BEFORE WE ARRIVED

IN THIS COUNTRY.

WE KNOW THE HISTORY OF HOW THE

JAPANESE OCCUPIED CHINA.

THE ATROCITIES SIMILAR TO THE

HOLOCAUST BUT THERE ARE NO

MUSEUMS OR TEXTBOOKS IN THESE

COUNTRIES THAT PRESERVE OR

MEMORIALIZE THIS KIND OF TRAUMA

AND PAIN.

SO WE'RE CONDITIONED NOT TO TALK

ABOUT IT.

WE'RE NOW TALKING ABOUT IT

WHETHER IT'S PHYSICAL ATTACKS OR

VERBAL VIOLENCE OR EVEN POVERTY.

ALL OF OUR STRUGGLES WE HAVE

BEEN A PART OF HIDING THAT AND I

THINK WE'RE --

>> LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

I WOULD LOVE TO TALK WITH YOU

FOR HOURS ABOUT THIS.

AS YOU KNOW, THE TYRANNY OF

TELEVISION, WE HAVE CERTAIN

TIMES HERE.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

I HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE AND A

HALF.

THE STORIES TALK ABOUT OTHERNESS

AND HOW OTHERNESS CAN CARRY THIS

BLANKET OF DISCRIMINATION.

YOU, YOURSELF A PERFECT

ILLUSTRATION.

YOU'RE BORN IN RAISED IN

PHILADELPHIA, YOU SERVED IN THE

AMERICAN MILITARY.

ARE YOU AT ALL OPTIMISTIC THIS

MIGHT BE A MOMENT?

I HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE FOR THE

ANSWER.

THIS MOMENT MIGHT HELP TO PUSH

IT TO THE POINT WHERE PEOPLE

WON'T LOOK AT YOU AND SAY YOU'RE

AN OTHER, YOUR OTHERNESS MAKES

YOU DIFFERENT?

>> I DO.

I THINK THE COVERAGE ITSELF HAS

HIT A MOMENTUM THAT CANNOT BE

SORT OF STOPPED.

AS LONG AS VICTIMS KEEP SPEAKING

ABOUT THIS, THE ISSUE DOESN'T GO

AWAY.

IT MAY BECOME SOMEWHAT NOR

NORMALIZED.

WHAT I MEAN IS IF YOU NORMALIZE

IT WE LOOK AT AS NOT SO MUCH A

MOMENTARY TREND BUT AS THE

REALITY WE LOOK LIKE.

AS LONG AS WE CAN KEEP THAT

GOING, VICTIMS SPEAKING, THE

M

HEE

MEDIA COVERING IT, WE'RE NOT

JUST THE OTHER.

THAT'S THE KEY.

>> THIS HAS BEEN AN

EXTRAORDINARILY THOUGHTFUL AND

ILLUMINATING CONVERSATION WITH

YOU.

I'M REALLY GRATEFUL FOR YOU

TAKING SOME OF YOUR TIME AND

SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING WITH

YOU AGAIN.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> YOU TAKE CARE.

>> YOU TOO.

>> BYE-BYE.

>>"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY --

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN

GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE

AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND

BY --

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND

JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP

MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH

WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, PATTI

ASKWITH KENNER.


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