PHILADELPHIA, KOMPAS.com – Two Indonesian teenagers in the United States have reported that they were subject to racist abuse in the US city of Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania, as anti-Asian hate crimes continue to surge in the country.
The two teenagers, whose identities have been withheld, said they experienced verbal and physical abuse from their assailants as they were waiting for a train at Philadelphia’s City Hall Station on Sunday, March 21.
Singled out for attack
“We were waiting for the train when a group of teenagers came up and insulted us. They then slapped our faces,” one of the two said to the NBC television station. The second victim agreed and maintained that the attack is racially motivated.
“There were 15 to 20 people in the station when the incident occurred, yet we were the only ones that were attacked.”
The incident occurred as police in Philadelphia are investigating a spate of hate crimes in the city.
We are actively investigating several incidents of hateful and racist vandalism in Chinatown and South Phila. This national and local surge in racist rhetoric & acts of violence will not be tolerated. We denounce acts of hate targeted towards individuals and groups based on 1/2— Danielle M. Outlaw (@PPDCommish) March 24, 2021
“We are actively investigating several incidents of hateful and racist vandalism in Chinatown and South [Philadelphia],” said Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw in her Twitter account.
“This national and local surge in racist rhetoric & acts of violence will not be tolerated.” She called on those victimized by racially motivated crimes to go to the nearest police station or call 911
Indonesian Consul-General in New York, Arifi Saiman, confirmed the reports. “We have conveyed our concerns about the incident to [the mayor’s office] in Philadelphia. We also asked them about the latest developments in the case,” he said to VOA Indonesia journalist Eva Mazrieva.