‘Seen as less than human’: Rep. Grace Meng talks recent attacks on Asians in NYC, bill to fight hate crimes

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New York State’s Hate Crimes Task Force has stepped in to help the NYPD tackle the rising number of attacks against the Asian community in New York City.

There have been at least 33 incidents against Asians this year, according to the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force. 

New York City Congresswoman Grace Meng spoke to PIX11 about the recent attack of an Asian woman in Midtown and the attack of an Asian man during a subway scuffle.

Meng said the Midtown attack was “shocking on two levels” as the man repeatedly punched and kicked the woman even when she was on the ground and the bystanders in the building witnessed the incident but did nothing, even closing the building door on the woman. 

“Asian Americans are sort of used to being invisible,” Meng said.

“We are not only invisible. Many feel like we are seen as less than human. How can you treat someone like that?”

When asked if people should be responsible for their inactions, Meng said people have come forward, asking about bystander intervention and what they should say verbally when they come across an incident. 

“There’s a lot of interest,” she said.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea previously told PIX11 News the NYPD is stepping up anti-hate campaigns and patrol.

She acknowledged the country is coming off from a yearslong worth of really harmful rhetoric, with many coming from former President Donald Trump.

Meng said things won’t be solved overnight and there needs to be more resources in the communities. 

The congresswoman has also introduced a hate crime bill. 

There is no consistent way for lawmakers to look at these incidents as a hate crime, and officials are asking for a more streamlined process, according to Meng. 

The bill would call for dedicated personnel to look at the cases and analyze the data. The bill would also have more resources to make it easier for people to report these incidents when it happens to them. 

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