Asian American attacked in Boulder

Update Nov 3: The Boulder Police Department now says there was apparently no knife involved in the assault against the Asian American as described below, but the victim was threatened with being “cut.” The police are also investigation another assult made the same night, Oct. 30: a gang rape of a woman by four men. Although neither crime occured on the CU-Boulder campus, and the AAPI victim was a former student (his three friends are current students), and the woman was not a student at all, the University of Colorado administration was quick to respond to the crimes, with a strong inter-departmental statement posted on the school’s website.

A 22-year-old Asian American man was assaulted by four men, and one held a knife to his neck and forced him to say “I love America.”

The victim told investigators that he was walking in the area of 10th and Marine streets with friends, singing a song from the movie “Team America.” He said they were confronted by four men.

One of the men — described as being a blond white male about 19 or 20 — said, “Do you think you are an American?” called him a “Chinaman,” punched him in the face and with a knife to his throat told him to say that he loved America.

This is disgusting, especially in light of the ways Barack Obama has been painted as an outsider, foreigner, socialist, terrorist, communist, anti-American, Muslim and Arab by people who oppose his candidacy for President of the United States.

I’m afraid that our country has become so divided, with society sliced and diced in so many ways, from race and ethnicity to social status, economic level and even by region (look at the electoral map and see where the blue and red states are concentrated) that it’s becoming OK to be violent, to say stupid, horrific things and make unsupportable assumptions about anyone who either looks different, thinks differently or acts different from us.

It’s become an “us vs. them” society… and most of the time, Asian Americans are treated — and have been treasted throughout history, long before the current climate of divisiveness — as one of “them.”

Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the DNC in Denver

We were lucky enough to get a couple of tickets to Barack Obama’s historic acceptance speech that capped off the Democratic National Convention at Denver’s Invesco Field at Mile High. We got there late afternoon and sweated though hours of speakers like Al Gore, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden, and entertainers including Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow and Michael McDonald. The crowd went wild when Obama hit the stage, and his speech sent an electric charge through the 84,000 people in the stadium. The evening ended with fireworks, confetti and lots of applause.