Monday June 23rd, 56 year old Robert Matires lay in critical condition after being senselessly attacked on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside Queens. The attacker, who witnesses report was an early to mid 20 year old Hispanic male, approached the victim, asked if he was Filipino, and punched him in the face. The victim struck his head on the pavement, compounding his injuries and was rushed to Elmhurst General Hospital where his son reported he was on life support.
It seems like common place nowadays to hear about an elderly Asian man getting assaulted without provocation. Just last month Wen Hui Ruan, a 68 year old Chinese man was attacked and killed in Manhattan after walking his grandchild home. This attack was caught on tape and led to the arrest of Jamie Pugh, a 20 year old black youth who blames drugs for his violent rampage.
President Obama spoke last month, addressing the increased targeting of Asians, especially southern Asian immigrants, by bigots and racists. The President said, “Even today, South Asian Americans, especially those who are Muslim, Hindu and Sikh, are targets of suspicion and violence,”
To have such brutal cases in New York is strange though, considering the US census reports Asians as 4.8% of the total population, but New York City as 12.7% Asian and Queens being the highest in Asian population with 22.9%.
One has to wonder what the cause is for the increase in violent crimes against Asians. Could jealousy be the catalyst for such behavior? Since 2012, Asian Americans have been recognized as the US’s best educated, highest earning and fastest growing race. 49% of Asians over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or more, while the rest of the country averages 28%. The median US household income is $49,800 while Asian Americans pull in $66,000 with about 11% owning their own businesses. HSBC (NYSE: HSBC) predicts that if trends continue, Asia will overtake the US in economic power by 2015, with many of those Asians with wealth and influence fleeing to the US.