'The Bay Area didn't seem like that kind of place': Daniel Wu, W. Kamau Bell discuss shocking crimes against Asian Americans

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Friday, February 12, 2021
Daniel Wu, W. Kamau Bell discuss attacks on Asian Americans
Daniel Wu and W. Kamau Bell spoke with us about the recent uptick in violence against Asian Americans in the Bay Area as videos of attacks on elderly people have gone viral. They spoke about racism and allyship between the Black and Asian communities.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Racism and violence against Asian Americans unfortunately isn't new in America, but it may be reaching a "boiling point" in the Bay Area, said actor Daniel Wu.

There's been a recent spike in crime against Asian Americans, especially elderly residents, with viral videos showing them being senselessly shoved to the ground or violently robbed.

"The truth of the matter is our community has been boiling in this for a while now," said Wu. "We've been under attack as an Asian community and no one has been talking about it."

MORE: Watch 'Allies in Action: A Bay Area Conversation'

Both Wu and comedian W. Kamau Bell spoke with ABC7 News about how the recent wave of attacks has made them think about racism in the Bay Area and allyship between the Black and Asian communities. (See the full conversation in the video above.) Bell and Wu hypothesized that while it may be hard to quantify, they feel things may have gotten worse in the past few years, between the COVID-19 pandemic, former President Donald Trump and ongoing gentrification.

"I remember growing up here, it was a really diverse community where we all got along really well," said Wu. "Once the pandemic started, there was this serious hatred toward Asians that I've never experienced before."

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"There's other places in the country where I'd expect that to come from, but the Bay Area didn't seem like that kind of place," he continued.

When Bell saw the recent attacks, he moved to amplify the efforts of Wu and actor Daniel Dae Kim to protect their community.

COMING TOGETHER: Understanding the history of tension between the Black and Asian communities

"In the wake of George Floyd's murder, there's just a lot of talk of how we come together," says Bell. "And I understand that part of that is coming out of quote-unquote 'our lane.' ... I felt like I want to let them know and the broader community that I stand with them. I don't speak for them, but I stand with them."

See our full conversation with Daniel Wu and W. Kamau Bell in the video player at the top of this story.