Asian American Journalist Racially Harassed for Speaking Chinese In Front of Her Home

Asian American Journalist Racially Harassed for Speaking Chinese In Front of Her Home
Ryan General
March 19, 2020
A journalist recently took to Twitter to share a recent encounter with a racist man near her home. 
Jiayang Fan, a staff writer at The New Yorker, detailed in a short Twitter thread how she was verbally abused with racial slurs right in front of her own home. 
According to Fan, she was taking out the trash while talking on her phone in Chinese when a man passed by on the sidewalk. 
“In the interest of social distancing, I said,’sorry, go ahead.’ ‘FUCKING CHINESE,’ he yelled loud enough I could hear him over aide’s voice on phone. I turned to look at him to make sure I heard right,” she wrote. 
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The man would continue berating her, saying, “Yea,I’m talking to you, Chinese bitch! You’re f***ing Chinese.”
“Man didn’t seem drunk or mentally ill. I was so breathless I couldn’t make a sound on the phone for a long while. I was asked on the phone if I was OK. I couldn’t say anything for a long minute. He kept looking at me,” she wrote. 
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Fan noted that instead of getting offended, she felt fear since the man knew he lived. 
She even decided against fetching the bag of rice she was supposed to get a few blocks away out of fear despite the uncertainty of a possible lock-down in her area.
“For the longest time, I’ve been telling friends in China that although racism against Chinese exists in this country, that’s NOT what I feel in a pandemic. I’ve never felt like this in my 27 yrs in this country. I’ve never felt afraid to leave my home to take out the trash because of my face,” she said. 
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“I want to believe what happened is anomalous that we’re living in extraordinary times and fear can deform us. I wonder now if I should’ve taken his pic but dunno if that would’ve just aggravated him.I have no answers,many questions & maybe 4 words: Extreme Caution, Radical Compassion,” wrote Fan in the last post.
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Some Twitter users consoled her with messages of support.
Meanwhile, some continue to pester her with racist insults.
Fan, whose work on China, American politics, and culture has appeared on The New Yorker since 2010, recently made a feature that looked into the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on Manhattan’s Chinatown.
Feature Image via The New Yorker
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