After creating a website that helps New Yorkers find COVID-19 vaccines, a software developer is using his new platform to take a stand against anti-Asian hate.
What is TurboVax: Last month, Huge Ma launched TurboVax, a website that “finds appointments from 53 city and state-run vaccine sites in the NYC area.” TurboVax makes it easier for New York City residents to locate available vaccines and also book vaccine appointments, according to ABC News.
- After struggling to find a vaccine for his mother, which Ma claims was a “pretty arduous process,” he decided to create TurboVax.
- Ma’s website compiles information from city and state websites. It also announces available appointments via Twitter.
- The New York Times praised Ma’s website for doing a better job at spotting appointments than the state’s official systems.
Raising awareness: The rise of cases against Asian Americans prompted Ma to suspend his website for two days to draw attention to the important contributions of the Asian community in the country.
Announcement: I am temporarily suspending TurboVax
Anti-Asian hate crimes are out of control. I am taking a stand because I fear for my friends and family
— TurboVax (@turbovax) February 27, 2021
- After receiving several negative comments about his decision, Ma told his critics he is “not your free labor.”
To those people who felt inconvenienced: I am not sorry.
I am not your free labor. If we are not worthy enough for you to understand our “reasons” or pain, then you don’t deserve to benefit from our contributions as well pic.twitter.com/iazidt8H99
— TurboVax (@turbovax) March 1, 2021
- He then went on to educate his followers on the current issues that the Asian American community is facing.
- He also asked his followers to donate to Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative that supports businesses in Manhattan’s Chinatown and combats anti-Asian hate.
- Ma, who grew up in Queens, has experienced anti-Asian bias firsthand, with people making comments about his “slanted eyes,” “yellow skin” and “‘Ching Chong’ name.”
- “If we as a country don’t listen to the concerns of Asian Americans, then we risk losing the contributions of Asian Americans as well,” Ma told ABC News.
- TurboVax has helped thousands of New Yorkers, and Ma recently revealed that around $105,000 has been raised for Chinatown so far.
I’m really burying the lede here, but I’m proud to say that the TurboVax community has raised *$105,000* for @WtChinatown. This will provide critical funding to Chinatown at a time when the community needs it the mosthttps://t.co/q0G1UXnIjL
— TurboVax (@turbovax) March 4, 2021
Feature Image via ABC News