Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Silence, A Bad Option

In a statement posted on the White House's website on Mat 25, 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris revealed

Today the President and I met with the family of Mr. George Floyd. Mr. Floyd should be alive today. He should be with his family who continue to show courage, grace, and resilience....

We must address racial injustice wherever it exists. That is the work ahead.

There is someone else who should be with family members, who continue to show courage, grace, and resilience.  That would be 58-year-old Maria Ambrocio, a Bayonne, New Jersey resident who on a visit to New York City

was in Times Square Friday afternoon with friends when police allege Foster plowed into her outside a pizzeria while running away after stealing another woman’s phone moments before.

Ambrocio was pushed. She fell and cracked her skull, and later died.

Sources say Foster took off but was arrested minutes later, adding he was also involved in a home invasion robbery shortly before at a woman’s apartment nearby, as well as a groping incident in Midtown last month.

According to his family in NJ, 26-year-old Jermaine Foster had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since he was a teenager and was devastated when his father died last year of Covid-19. Foster currently was homeless was prescribed medication. (He has been arrested and is charged with burglary, robbery and murder.) In a measured response on Facebook, the Philippine Consulate General in New York wrote in part

Beginning January, we have seen several of our kababayan, most of them senior citizens, violently assaulted by individuals with mental health issues.

We have joined calls for authorities to take the necessary steps, including heightened police visibility, to protect the public after we noted the surge in anti-Asian hate incidents that targeted some of our kababayan. 

We also supported calls for authorities to take the necessary measures to address mental health issues, especially among the homeless.

We reiterate these calls as we mourn our loss but we also ask ourselves: How many more Maria Ambrocios do we have to mourn before the streets would be made safe again?

Ambrocio was an oncology nurse. It is a time when health care professionals across the nation have been lauded and celebrated, when many areas across the nation have been wracked by a major surge of violent crime. and New York City reportedly has been plagued by a rise in anti-Asian incidents.

The Administration should take notice. While President Biden has been consumed by the pandemic, infrastructure, and other problems which demand his attention, the Vice President, whose only significant duty (other than in the month following a presidential election) is to cast a deciding vote in the Senate when the chamber is evenly split, should speak up.

When George Floyd was brutally murdered, Vice President Harris took sides, recognizing "we must address racial injustice wherever it exists." The slaying of Maria Ambrocio highlights the injustice many Asian-Americans believe they suffer in New York City and elsewhere. It's a perfect opportunity for Kamala Harris to find her voice again and emphasize that 58-year old women should not have to fear for their lives or be at the mercy of violent men on the streets of America.

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