GREENPOINT, Brooklyn — There’s a young woman in Greenpoint who has a gift for all Asian American New Yorkers to help them feel safer during this wave of anti-Asian hate crimes.
It’s a simple, free, personal safety alarm.
“As a native New Yorker, I was appalled when the pandemic began to see the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes that was happening,” Carolyn Kang said.
Kang is a 25-year-old artist and producer who felt helpless and wanted to do something tangible that could help Asian Americans, so she created a GoFundMe page to raise money for to get them for free to as many Asians in New York City that wanted them. Kang has gotten more than 400 requests and raised close to $3,000 in just one week for these $10 alarms.
“The idea is if someone is coming to attack you it will discourage the attacker or notify bystanders and draw attention,” she said.
Her fundraising campaign comes as NYPD is investigating yet another Asian hate crime that happened Thursday. Police say a man pointed his finger and made several derogatory anti-Asian statements to a 34-year-old female victim. It happened on the Q train at 96th street on the Upper East Side at 11:30 a.m.
According to the NYPD, there have been 54 anti-Asian hate crimes reported to them so far this year including six that our COVID-related, compared to a total of 12 for the same time last year, 11 COVID-related.
Kang has dealt with this sort of harassment herself.
“When the pandemic started I was riding the G train one night. A man approached me and started screaming that ‘the Chinese people are effing ruining this country’ and hurling racial slurs at me,” Kang said.
She is particularly worried about older Asian women who may not have access to the internet so may not know about these free safety alarms. Kang is hoping to raise enough money to distribute these free safety alarms to senior centers in Flushing and Chinatown.
“I would really appreciate any and all donations to help us reach our goal,” she added.
If you would like to request a free, personal safety alarm, you can email Kang at firstname.lastname@example.org.