Gwinnett couple finds ethnic slur tagged on car, hate crimes against Asians persists nationwide – CBS46 News Atlanta
Police are investigating a possible hate crime against an Asian couple in Gwinnett County.
Sonethida Siharath and her husband don’t know why anyone would want to target their family.
“I don’t have problems with nobody, my husband doesn’t have problems with nobody,” Siharath said. “We work. We take taxes. We take care of our kids.”
On Friday, the couple went to see a movie at the Movie Tavern in Suwanee. When they left the theater, they found an ethnic slur, often directed at Chinese people, spray painted on their car.
“I’ve been here in Atlanta for 20 plus years, a schoolteacher, and I’ve never someone call me that name before,” Siharath said. “So, it’s kind of brand new, shocking.”
A witness told police they say the suspects were wearing all black, including black masks, and left in a white 4-door sedan.
“I’m not going to let them bully me,” Siharath said.
Crimes against Asian-Americans are surging across the country.
“We’re in a state of siege almost,” said Dr. Russell Jeung, the co-founder of Stop Asian-American Pacific Islander Hate.
The nonprofit social organization has tracked more than 3,000 reports of hate crimes and speech against Asian-Americans since the start of the pandemic.
“We’re being objectified and being treated as sub-human,” Jeung said.
“I try to head off some of the assumptions and stereotypes,” said Natalie Keng, an Atlanta native.” I thought it was something I would never hear again.”
Keng’s family, who is Chinese, has been in America for six generations. She owns Chinese Southern Belle, an inclusive cooking experience that merge food and culture.
Keng said the current events are a painful reminder of parts of her youth when she would dress up or try to alter her appearance to hide her identity. It’s something she’s found herself doing more recently.
“I have some American flag t-shirts and things that say ‘Georgia, USA’ or ‘I love America’ and I just instinctively put those out and have been wearing them more,” she said.
Anyone with information regarding the incident in Gwinnett County is asked to call Suwanee Police at at 770-904-7642.