Xie Xiaozhen: The $1 million raised for Xie Xiaozhen after she fought back against an anti-Asian attack will go to fighting racism.
The 76-year-old Xiaozhen was punched while walking down the street in San Francisco on March 17. She responded by hitting the assailant with a board and the suspect was arrested. Xiaozhen was injured and traumatised by the attack.
Through GoFundMe, Xie Xiaozhen’s grandson John Chen raised $1 million for medical treatment and therapy for his grandmother. The fundraiser exceeded the family’s goals and around $1 million dollars were raised.
The fundraiser was set up the day after the attack, and Chen wrote that his grandmother was “severely affected mentally, physically, and emotionally.” Chen also added that she was now “afraid to step out of her home.”
On the GoFundMe website, Chen stated that the family was planning on donating all of the money that had be raised to fight anti-Asian racism. Chen wrote that “The AAPI [Asian-American and Pacific Islander] community is bleeding from this violence and hatred. We as a community cannot stay silent nor be silenced anymore. That is why our family plans to donate ALL funds generated in this GoFundMe to help the AAPI community recover, and combat racism.”
Chen added that “She [Xie Xiaozhen] also stated multiple times to donate all the funds generated in this GoFundMe back to the Asian-American community to combat racism. She insists on making this decision, saying this issue is bigger than her.”
The assailant was identified as 39-year-old Steven Jenkins, who also attacked an 83-year-old Vietnamese man Ngoc Pham the day he assaulted Xiaozhen. According to the police who identified him, Jenkins was being chased by a security guard and assaulted Xiaozhen while being pursued.
The San Francisco Police Department released in a statement that “Investigators are working to determine if racial bias was a motivating factor in the incident.” Jenkins who was charged with elder abuse and assault, pleaded not guilty. According to his lawyer, he is being held without bail.