Attacks on elderly Asian Americans intensify, but community keeps building bridges during Lunar New Year

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As attacks on Asian Americans, particularly the elderly, continue to intensify, the Chinese American Service League donated 150,000 face masks in honor of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The Lunar New Year is typically the largest celebration of the year for Chinese and Chinese American families, as well as other Asian and Asian American communities, but not this year due to COVID-19.

"We wanted to dedicate this donation to also building bridges and relationships with other cultures and communities during these difficult times," said Paul Luu, CASL CEO.

Chicago's Chinatown community has been devastated by the pandemic and the rise in anti-Asian sentiment. Restaurants continue to struggle, and residents remain fearful of being targeted because of their race or ethnicity.

"This is definitely a test of the strength of the community this year," said Eric Kwok, Best Food Services CEO.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate launched a tracking project for incidents. They've reported more than 2,800 firsthand accounts, including violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning and bullying in 47 states and Washington DC.

In Oakland, Calif., there have bene disturbing attacks on the elderly. Just last week a 71-year-old grandmother was pushed to the ground, beaten and left in the street.

"She's traumatized. She did get, like, really bad bruises," said the victim's granddaughter.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Chicago say these attacks will not be tolerated.

"We need to start to educate, advocate about these incidents around the country," Luu said.

The Chinese American community is going into the Year of the Ox leading by example, spreading love one box at a time.
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