Months after falling victim to a hate-fueled vandalism, the staffers at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum are speaking out for the first time to share their thoughts on the incident.
Craig Milne, 76, was arrested
for smashing several glass windows of the Wing Luke Museum
at around 5 p.m. on Sept. 14. He was later charged
with a hate crime
and first-degree malicious mischief for causing over $100,000 in damages.
Staffers speak out:
Monica Day, the museum’s director of finance and human resources, described the incident as a “methodical” attack in the staffers’ new interview with King 5
. “This person was angry but very calm while he was doing it and that was what was most striking to me,” she said.
Hanif Muid, head of security, recalled running out to confront Milne and said he heard the suspect spout rhetoric “about the Chinese
ruining his life.” Joel Barraquiel Tan, executive director, said the suspect’s sledgehammer “started swinging as far back as the Chinese Exclusion Act,
” describing the attack as “nothing less than an act of terror.”
Beyond property damage, the brazen vandalism
has struck fears in many Asian Americans
in the Chinatown
-International District (CID). Psychologist Sally Chung told King 5, “If you can’t be safe in a predominantly Asian
area as an Asian person, where are you safe?”
Why it matters:
Wing Luke Museum, located in the heart of Seattle’s
itself as “the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in the U.S.” The building is also where many immigrant families lived in the early 1900s.
Despite the harrowing experience, the museum launched a music exhibit
around a month later. On Dec. 9, it hosted
an event featuring CID Santas Roger Rigor and Stephen Sumida.