“I’m in Chinatown for lunch today. Walking up to Mott and Bayard St, I see two police officers standing over an old Chinese man bleeding on the ground. I assume the worst, of course. Two Chinese women are propping the old man up, who is coherent and able to dial and call his wife. The younger woman serves as a translator between the cops and the old man.
My Cantonese is terrible, but I knew enough to understand the first words uttered by one of the ladies: He slipped and fell on his own. I breathe a sigh of relief.
As we wait for an ambulance, hundreds of Chinese people walk by and also assume the worst. Rather than let the cops have to address everyone one at a time, I stand off to the side and tell people what happened to set the record straight. It’s the least I can do.
The old man wants to get up on his own, but another Chinese guy repeats to him in Cantonese to not get up. The old man’s wife arrives from a nearby restaurant. They were supposed to have lunch together. She’s relieved he wasn’t attacked, and that he’s able to talk to her.
FDNY arrives and bandages him up, telling the wife he’ll need stitches and needs to be examined for the trauma to his head. Once the ambulance arrives, they help the man up to the stretcher. The wife thanks the two women for propping up her husband. They did not know each other. They were just compelled to help.
Before I go off to lunch, I walk by the ladies and thank them. They nod back at me.
Chinatown is safe when we rally together, when we come to each other’s aid. Only together will we survive the continued hate.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alan Ng of New Jersey. You can follow his journey on Instagram and his website. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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