April 21, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
Queens Community Board 2 is the latest of the 14 boards in Queens to condemn the recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The board issued a statement Monday condemning the spike in hate crimes, similar to a joint letter released March 11 by Queens Community Boards 6, 8, 10 and 11 that also expressed outrage about the attacks.
“This violence and bigotry is unacceptable and has no place in our neighborhoods, our district, our city, or our country. We will not stand idly by while our fellow New Yorkers are being beaten, slashed, and denigrated by a hateful few,” reads the statement released by Community Board 2.
“We, members of Queens CB2, condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and stand in solidarity with our Asian-American and Pacific Islander neighbors against anti-Asian hatred in all its forms.”
The board, which represents Long Island City, Sunnyside, and Woodside, noted the exponential rise in reported incidents in New York City, from just 3 anti-Asian hate crimes in 2019 to 28 in 2020, citing NYPD data. There were another five reported incidents from January to March.
The spike in attacks began shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and bigots blamed the Chinese community for it. Former President Donald Trump referred to the virus as “Kung Flu” and the “China Plague.”
“As the Asian American community shares in our collective suffering brought on by the pandemic, we cannot be tacitly complicit to scapegoating, unwarranted discrimination, and hate-filled violence,” according to the board.
Asian Americans make up 35 percent of residents in Community Board 2, a number far higher than the citywide figure of 17 percent. Nearly 54 percent of district residents are foreign born, according to board data.
“We urge unity and active vigilance for our Asian American neighbors,” the board statement reads. This also includes supporting our local Asian-American-owned businesses and engaging in dialogue with AAPI neighbors to learn how to be effective allies.”
Several Community Board 2 board members are Asian Americans, including District 26 city council candidates Julie Won, Steven Raga and Badrun Khan. Other Asian-American board members include Frank Wu, Karesia Batan, Anatole Ashraf and Czarinna Andres.