SAN JOSE, Calif. - In San Jose, the Lunar New Year was celebrated at History Park this weekend and some people there talked about the impact the deadly shooting in Monterey Park is having on how people celebrate.
"There have been multiple elders who have come up to me and to our booth, and said, ‘Are you guys the security? Are we safe here? Did you hear about what happened yesterday?" said Philip Nguyen, from the Vietnamese American Roundtable.
After a mass shooting in Los Angeles County’s Monterey Park left 10 people dead, all of them Asian and at least 10 others injured, one of the organizers of San Jose’s Lunar New Year Festival says they never considered canceling Sunday’s celebrations. Investigators believe the suspected gunman was a 72-year-old Asian man who died by suicide.
"Not at all, because when they come over here for the New Year day, we’re not supposed to keep bad things in our mind and the fear. We do not want to bring the fear on the day of the New Year," said Hoang Mong Thu, from the Vietnamese American Cultural Foundation.
Still, some people were taking precautions including the San Jose Police Dept. They posted this tweet Sunday, saying out of an abundance of caution, the Dept. will step up patrols at various Lunar New Year events around the city.
"When we see something like what happened in Monterey Park happen in places where there’s a predominant Asian American community, when we see things like the March Atlanta spa shootings from last year, when see things like the rise of Anti-Asian hate since the pandemic, we can’t help but see ourselves in those people that are affected," Nguyen said.
"We are seeing members of our community being harassed, murdered, on everyday streets here in America and yes, even in the state of California," said Evan Low, CA Assembly member District 26.
Assembly member Evan Low, who represents Silicon Valley, has been outspoken about the rise of attacks against Asian Americans and believes ultimately, the shooting in Monterey Park is symptomatic of a larger problem that isn’t about race at all.
"This is fundamentally a firearms challenge and an issue. Weapons of mass destruction that are only systemic in the United States. No other industrialized nation has this challenge and this problem. It is so pervasive in everyday culture," Low said.