International Asia SG netizens applaud Chinese grandma who fought back against racist attack in...

SG netizens applaud Chinese grandma who fought back against racist attack in San Francisco

Netizens offer help, about US$500,000 raised




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Singapore—Anti-Asian violence has been growing in some parts of the world, with this week seeing the especially grievous killing of eight people in three spas in Atlanta, six of whom were women of Asian descent.

On Tuesday (Mar 16) research released by reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate showed that there were nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents in the US over the pandemic, most of which was directed towards women.

Some women have fought back, as an elderly  Chinese woman did in San Francisco. On Wednesday (Mar 17), a woman named Xiao Zhen Xie was able to thwart an assault from a much younger man.

Mdm Xiao is said to be at least 75 years old.

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The elderly lady was waiting at a traffic light, about to cross the street, when all of a sudden, a man came up and hit her in the eye.

News reports say that Mdm Xiao then “instinctively” took up a stick that was nearby and beat him off in self-defence.

She was able to do this despite blood dripping from her eye.

Bystanders were able to capture the aftermath of the assault, which show the elderly lady angrily pointing around and speaking loudly in Chinese, while a younger Caucasian man lies in a stretcher nearby.


He can be seen with blood around his mouth and looking like he’s in a daze. 

Several police officers can also be seen in the video, and one officer is seen trying to calm Mdm Xiao down.

Mdm Xiao told the police the incident had been unprovoked and that she didn’t understand why the man punched her.

Her daughter, Dong-Mei Li, translating for her mother in news interviews, said, “She found the stick around the area and fought back.

According to witnesses, they saw the elderly woman “pummelling” her assailant with the stick. 

Ms Dong-Mei Li told one US news station that her mother was “very traumatised, very scared, and this eye is still bleeding”. “The right eye still cannot see anything and still bleeding and we have something to absorb the bleeding,” she added.

Other witnesses report Mdm Xiao as saying, “This bum, he hit me,” and “He bullied me, he bullied me, jerk” and “He bullies old people so I gave a punch.”

Police say that the attacker, a 39-year-old man named Steven Jenkins, had just attacked an 83-year-old Asian man a few minutes before punching Mdm Xiao.

He now faces two charges of elder abuse and two counts of assault likely to produce great bodily injury.

Responding to a story about Mdm Xiao on Mothership on Friday, Mar 19, Singaporean netizens have voiced support, even admiration, for the older woman.

Some netizens have even asked if they can help her financially, since she was injured in the assault.

Half a million dollars has already been raised in aid.

Her grandson, John Chen, created a Go Fund Me page for Mdm Xiao.

After 22 hours, the goal of raising US $50,000 has been exceeded by more than 10 times the amount the family asked for.

Screengrab: gofundme

Her grandson wrote,  “I am amazed by her bravery. She was the one that defended herself from this unprovoked attack. But she is now suffering two serious black eyes and one that is bleeding unstoppably. Her wrist has also swelled up. She has been severely affected mentally, physically, and emotionally. She also stated that she is afraid to step out of her home from now on. 

“Although she has health insurance that covers the basics, there are still many medical expenses that cannot be covered on her own. She is a cancer survivor and she also has had diabetes for over 10 years now. The funds that we receive will be used to cover her medical expenses, her therapy treatment, and her bills.”


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