MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — White supremacists crashed the Zoom meeting of a Asian-American state lawmaker, she told PIX11 News in an exclusive interview.
Yuh-Line Niou said they used racial slurs, screen shared graphic pornography and repeatedly shouted “white power” during the invasion.
“There was antisemitic attacks, anti-Asian attacks, homophobic attacks,” Niou said.
The Lower Manhattan Democratic assemblywoman is now running for state Senate against incumbent Brian Kavanagh. She said it happened during a virtual volunteer organizing event Monday.
“They started to show pornography that had racial epithets written on it,” Niou said. “They started to call me names, an ‘Asian c***k w***e’ was the one that was loudly said.”
Niou said she and her team were more worried about getting control of the event, silencing and kicking people out and did not get a recording. But several people who were on the Zoom confirmed what happened.
“[They wrote] explicit sexual language that implied sexual violence,” said Illapa Sairitupac, a supporter who is also running for state Assembly. “No matter what your politics are, it is unacceptable to stoop this low.”
Another volunteer, Kaeleigh Farrish, said the “horrifying” display was especially bad in light of increased violence against Asian-American women.
That recent rise in hatred, specifically the recent killing of Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee, have shocked the city.
Niou said, sadly, what happened to her is a separate branch of the same harassment. “Zoom bombing” has become increasingly common since the rise of digital meetings.
“I received a message from the people that help run [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’] events, and other lawmakers of color, and they say it happens almost every event that someone’s trying to hack in,” Niou said.
This incident was reported to Zoom.
PIX11 reached out to State Senator Brian Kavanagh for comment, because the incident happened in the context of a campaign event.