Representatives from different communities in New York and local officials on Monday condemned the anti-Chinese graffiti scrawled in the fast-growing Chinatown of Brooklyn, New York City's largest borough, over the weekend.
"This is attempting to degrade communities and create a level of terror in our communities, and it's not accepted," Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough president, said during a press conference Monday.
The anti-Chinese graffiti found at several sites has triggered public outrage, especially among the local Chinese community. Representatives from various Chinese-American communities across the city attended the press conference holding placards that read "Stop the hate" and "Hate doesn't belong here" to show their outrage.
"It's dangerous to think one culture is superior to others," Tim Law, a Chinese American who has lived in Brooklyn for about 50 years, told Xinhua.
"I have lived here for over 35 years and it has never happened before," Stephanie Wong from the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn said. "We don't want this hate to (divide) everybody."
Brooklyn has the second largest Chinese population in New York City, second only to Queens, according to an Airbnb report in March.
"To put up graffiti of this magnitude is not only an insult (to) Asian Americans or Asian residents, it's an insult (to) American residents as well," Adams told Xinhua.
Denouncing it as "premeditated action," he asked the New York City Police Department to investigate the incident as a "hate crime".
Adams spoke highly of the long tradition of rich collaboration between the Chinese communities and Americans. "We stand for a united front to ensure that we will continue to build bridges with each other," he said.
His views were echoed by many attendees at the conference.
"If you target a group or a gender because of their ethnicity, their race ... that is the definition of a hate crime in the New York State Penal Code," New York State Senator Diane Savino said.
"This hate crime does not define who we are. This is a diverse, wonderful, beautiful neighborhood made up of hard working families, seniors, and children that celebrate and welcome diversity," New York City Council member Mark Treyger told the press.
All the attendees urged for witnesses to come forward and help apprehend the people responsible for the graffiti.