A movement is building to pressure Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to classify the actions of two masked men to set an elderly woman on fire as a hate crime.
Racism Is a Virus this week launched the Grandma Project. They’re asking people to post photos of themselves with their grandma as a way to spread awareness. Use the hashtags #Theycantburnusall, #RacismIsAvirus, and #IamNotAVirus.
They’ve also started a change.org petition that has so far collected more than 1500 signatures.
As AsAmNews previously reported, the men approached the woman and physically confronted her. When she resisted, they set her shirt on fire. Only the quick thinking of the woman prevented serious injuries. She snuffed out the fire by rubbing her body against a wall and lifting up her hair to keep it away from the flames.
“Many of us are incensed not only that this attack occurred, but that the police aren’t investigating it as a hate crime,” said Racism Is a Virus in a statement. “Not having this classified as a hate crime changes the way in which the police investigate, and it minimizes the context of racism Asians experience in this country. It’s erasure. This could have been any one of our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, or friends.”
The petition also asks the city council to come up with legislation to change what constitutes a hate crime.
Those who participate in the Grandma Project are asked to tag the NYPD 62nd Precinct, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, and Councilman Mark Treyger on Facebook and Instagram.
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