In Oakland, California, a pregnant Asian woman was spat on and called homophobic slurs by a passerby while she was on her way to work.
Slowing her car down at a headlight in the downtown area by Broadway and 14th, alarming dashcam footage dated 14 May uploaded to social media shows the unsettling moment a stranger abruptly spat on the face of a healthcare worker.
Tina, who is seven months pregnant, was driving to work with her husband, who has not been named, when the incident took place.
Footage shows the couple in the middle of a conversation as they stop for a red light when the man walks past and spits at her through the car window.
As he demands that the victim steps out of the vehicle, he shouts homophobic and racial slurs before the couple drive off when the light switches green.
Speaking to KRON4, Tina explained how a man began “circling our car trying to talk to my husband to get out but being pregnant, I didn’t want to put us and my baby at risk”.
“After he was yelling and shouting at us that’s when I felt like this was because we were Asian and because our windows were down, it was a perfect time to target us,” she said.
Amid a swelling rate of violent attacks against Asian Americans that has stoked increased fear, anxiety and anger, Tina expressed an almost lack of surprise at the attack. Her day job often sees her treat victims in the Asian community – she’s used to it, she said.
“I work in Oakland, downtown Chinatown,” she said, “and I see grandmas and grandpas every day coming in you know to our clinic because of the same reasons.
“Now is the perfect time to stand up for ourselves we have to advocate for ourselves so I hope this helps others to do the same.”
Bisexual comedian Margaret Cho spoke out about the dizzying surge of anti-Asian racism in America earlier this year.
The killing of eight people working at spas in Atlanta, Georgia, including six Asian women, fuelled outrage and despair over the nation’s longstanding failure to curb anti-Asian sentiment.
To Cho, the attack, as horrifying as it is, was just the latest example of racially targeted violence against Asians. “I’m scared to go out,” the 52-year-old said on the Ebony & Irony podcast.
“As an older Asian woman, it’s actually like, it’s hard out there for people like me. It’s very much like being the target.”