Gotham Gazette – “Over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, 40-year-old Michelle Alyssa Go was pushed from the Times Square subway platform to her death. This tragedy follows a year that saw a 361% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and came less than two weeks after Mayor Adams announced his plans to increase police presence in the subway system. Much like the federal response to the March 2021 Atlanta spa shootings, where money poured into local police departments under the guise of fighting anti-Asian hate crimes, we are once again seeing our government prioritize turning to the police to solve issues of public safety.
Around the country, Asian Americans have grappled with what community safety might look like amid a pandemic, a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, and calls to defund the police. But in response to tragic and awful incidents of violence against Asian Americans, as Murad Awawdeh of the New York Immigration Coalition correctly argues, ‘we can’t police our way out of this.‘
Not only is throwing more police at the problem of anti-Asian violence incongruous after sustained uprisings against police brutality, but it also does little to prevent this violence. The root of anti-Asian violence is not individual acts of hate or even so-called ‘random attacks,; but rather white supremacy and austerity that seeds systemic violence. Instead of expanding policing, New York City must turn its attention to budget justice. [Read More]”