Asians With Attitudes formed to protect senior Asians

By Gilda P. Balan, Correspondent

SAN JOSE – A small but growing group of young Asian Americans can no longer stomach the uncalled for violence against their elders. They have formed a loose organization called Asians With Attitudes to patrol the streets of San Jose, northern California to make sure that no assaults against their elders takes place, at least not in their neighborhood.

A member of the organization admitted that they drew some inspiration from the Black Panther movement of the 1960s, when young African Americans patrolled the streets of cities where violence against their people was rampant.

“The tipping point was when grandpa Vicha was attacked” on Jan. 28, 2021, and later died, said one member. He was referring to Vicha Ratanapakdee, a senior who was violently shoved causing his head to hit the pavement. He never regained consciousness.

A video of that attack was caught on CCTV and the sight is truly sickening. That incident is widely believed to be the start of ever worsening attacks against Asian Americans, mostly women and seniors.

In his memory, a street in San Francisco was recently named after Ratanapakdee.

Asians With Attitudes – yes, it’s attitude instead of the more grammatically correct attitude — are easily recognizable by their uniform black t-shirt with the words ‘Protect Our Elders’ at the back in large white letters.

In some t-shirts, the words ‘Stop Asian Hate’ are highly visible, while in others, the front has in smaller letters the phrases ‘Stop Asian Hate,’ ‘Stop Latin Hate,’ ‘Stop Black Hate,’ and ‘Stop All Hate.’

“Asians With Attitude is a movement,” said one member, “It’s not a gang.” He said the organization was formed because “enough is enough,” and he feels that the police should be doing more.

For their efforts at protecting their own, they have gotten hate mail and death threats.

AWA member Jenn said, “We are not apologetic. We are who we are.” She wants everyone to know that having been born in the US, she is as American as anyone.

While currently based in San Jose, the organizers are hoping that similar groups will be formed in San Francisco and Oakland. The three cities are host to the biggest communities of Asian Americans, which is why there have been more attacks on them than in other major cities.

For now, Asians With Attitudes is doing all it can to end the violence against Asian Americans, one street at a time.