Victim Impact: Listen and Learn (Hate Crime)
The video in this series (NCJ 223072) features the first-person account of Jee Young who shares her experience as victim of hate crime and the ripple effect that victimization can have on family members and the community at large. A companion online only training curriculum is also available and includes a two part facilitator manual and a participant workbook.
My name is Jee Young, and I am the sister of Don Young. It was a long and difficult decision to sit and write this statement. Bringing up the feeling and memories is still something I avoid doing.
It was a Sunday, and I think he was playing basketball with our church youth group . . . Korean church youth group kids. They went over to a local school court to play, and 5 of 8 white teenagers came over. He said he didn’t know them. They asked, “do you want to play 5 on 5?” and they were . . . they agreed. They started playing basketball. It seemed like the white boys were purposely fouling, pushing them, shoving—that happens in basketball. So my brother was the oldest among the kids who went with him . . . said, “Come on, let’s play. Let's just play a game. Why are you guys pushing?” And they would keep on pushing, snicker about it together, you know, so it came up to a point where it grew into an argument, and my brother said, “I’ve had enough. We’re gonna go.”
That’s when they started, kind of, “Who the "f" do you think you are?” About 5 or 8 more kids came, so there were in total about 12 to 16 kids. He heard from the back, “There’s that “Chink” standing there alone. Let’s jump on him now when he’s alone.” My brother turned around, and they circled him, and they were like, “Chink, go back to your country,” and we’re not even from China.
After they spit on his face, they knocked him to the ground. Four or 5, maybe even more kids, started to step, stomp, and kick his head, face, and back. He was lying on the ground. He did not fight back. All the facial cheekbones were all just cracked into pieces . . . nose bone fracture, and he lost sensation. There was some nerve damage, so he lost sensation on 4 of his upper teeth and the whole bottom . . . other part, he doesn’t have sensation until now, and it’s been about a year since that happened.
The police report was that . . . they wrote it up as if it was a gang fight . . . that they were playing basketball, they got in an argument, it was a mutual fight. They thought it was a Chinese gang versus an American white gang, and that offends me just because of the description of how I look and how we are.
he image of my brother falling on that concrete floor and people stepping and just kicking with shoes on his face . . . I can't get that image out of my head. What goes through someone’s mind when they kick and step on a living human being just covering his face and head to survive? What does one have to do to deserve all this? Getting into an argument playing basketball.
I had a chance to read my victim impact statement at the court. I wanted to see the kids who did this to my brother, and I . . . after I read my statement, I said “just because someone speaks less English than you, just because someone looks a little different than you and . . . whether if it’s the same, that doesn’t give you any right to step, to kick, or spit on someone’s face.” And the response I got from him was, “I'm sorry I caused you such inconvenience, but if you think I'm a racist, I’m not 'cause I don't treat people by their color.”
Hate crime, you know, it's not something explicit that you can see. You are just hitting or you are punching someone through your anger or your frustration, but the impact, the hurt that that person has, they carry on for life. And the people around that person who love him or her, they carry on the same pain. To see someone that you really love suffer and go through pain—that's not an easy thing to carry 'cause it always stays in the back of your mind, and it really hurts.
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