A video of a Chinese-Latina woman heroically defending a Muslim couple from a woman’s racist verbal abuse went viral recently on social media.
In the widely shared clip, a middle-aged woman on a New York City subway was shown berating two passengers, a Middle Eastern man and an African American woman wearing a hijab.
“Why are you here?” the woman screamed. “Why are you in this country if you’re not with us?”
The woman was not identified but later described herself as an American of Puerto Rican descent. In the video, she can be heard shouting, “You’re not even from here. I am. I was born in America.”
During the loud verbal assault, 23-year-old Tracey Tong stepped in and came to the aid of passengers, the Guardian reported.
Speaking in both English and Spanish, Tong told the woman to stop berating the passengers.
“I am born here and I don’t like the way you are treating her,” Tong can be heard telling the woman.
“We are all in this together. Whether you like what’s going on in the government or not, fuck it, you got to deal with it. You are a grown woman.”
Her response eventually silenced the racist passenger.
When asked why she stepped in, Tong, whose dad is of Chinese descent and whose mother is Latina, said she acted after she felt a sudden “rush of adrenaline” in witnessing the scene.
“I had been seeing all these crazy videos online of all these people being so racist, against people’s religion, skin color, and all that stuff, and I would always get so mad and furious. I promised myself if I ever witnessed that I would totally freak out,” Tong said.
Tong had just moved back to Queens in New York City from Buffalo and it was her first time riding the subway again.
“The first day I get on the train it happened. I didn’t even have the time to process it,” she said.
She added that she would not hesitate in doing it again in the future.
“I just wanted the woman to feel safe on her commute to wherever she was going. I’ve been bullied before and she was having a form of bullying as well,” Tong explained.
The video, which has been viewed over 600,000 times on YouTube, has earned Tong mostly praises from netizens for her actions.
“This woman is such a badass! I feel better knowing she’s on a train somewhere,” said one commenter.
“All of Peru is proud of you! God know I wish I had the courage you have,” wrote another.