To be honest — the last few weeks as I’ve been self quarantined in my loft in downtown LA — I haven’t felt the extent of the hate crimes against Asians in America I was reading about. I saw a few posts, some articles, and didn’t think it could be me. I was wrong. Very wrong.
Benny and I have been friends since NextShark started. As two fellow Asian American entrepreneurs who have started digital media companies (NextShark and 88rising) representing Asian culture locally and globally, I would have never thought in a million years my first article on NextShark would be sharing my experience of being violently threatened because of simply being Asian.
I posted to my Instagram on Tuesday the hate crime I experienced below. To anyone who is Asian or Asian American in the U.S. right now, don’t be afraid but be prepared and informed. People fear what they don’t understand. People blame others for what they can’t comprehend. People can also change others by being the better person and choosing the higher road. In times of hate, anger, fear, and violence against Asians or any race, it is the best time for us as an ethnic culture to forgive, be merciful to our enemies (for they know not what they do) while at the same time rise up to the occasion and let our collective voices be heard against the racism and misinformation communicated by weak politicians and biased Western media.
So earlier today I got assaulted by a man randomly in Burbank California. I was pulling up to a Chase bank with my bro when this motorcyclist pulls up perpendicularly directly at the car, and revving his engine threatening to ram his bike into my driver side door. I could hear him threatening me with racial slurs & I could see his enraged eyes through my window determined to attack me.
My boy was in the passenger seat & jumped out the car to confront him & thankfully there was an unarmed security guard who was stationed at the bank who pulled up to the scene. The dude was yelling , ‘It’s because of you people that this virus is here etc etc.’ The cop was like, ‘Brother back off cause they didn’t do anything to you.’ My boy Peter was like, ‘you know what you said isn’t true bro.’
All I saw was the rage in this man’s eyes and I could feel his anger. Dude backed off and I wasn’t even mad – it just dawned on me at that moment how seriously divided, misinformed & dangerous it is to be living in America right now. When people can’t eat, pay the rent, & live day to day – it’s going to get violent.
When people need someone to blame and we have a President calling the coronavirus the ‘China virus’ it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that Asian hate crimes are going to break out across America. I went out today from self- quarantine confinement to go buy myself my second gun. Why? Cause I don’t feel safe in these streets & I believe in self protection, especially when I’m living in America.
The fact that I experienced this hate crime on my way to the gun store today is a wake up call to myself & anyone who reads this to stay safe, be protected & pray for good to overcome all this evil. There’s been reported over 100 hate crimes a day against Asian Americans since coronavirus has taken over the USA, this is not okay, this is not the American Dream I grew up believing in, this is nonsensical & uncalled for, please America see past the hate & let us unite together in love.
About the author: Jaeson Ma is a media executive, artist, and serial entrepreneur. He is a principle co-owner in social music video app Triller, co-founded premium production studio Stampede Ventures, digital music label 88rising, and east-west talent, brand strategy & investment firm East West Ventures.
Feature image via Flickr