An Asian TV journalist was racially abused in New York City while covering a news segment about a Jewish school being opened in Covid-19 hotspot violating a state executive order. CeFaan Kim of WABC said the man identified himself as a Hasidic Jew and called him "chinky" — a racial slur.
The racial abuse was caught on camera as Kim spoke about the school Bais Yaakov D'Chassidei in Brooklyn and how its students did not wear face masks as they boarded the school bus. He also said that the school violated the executive order that placed restrictions on gathering of people in the areas designated as hotspots.
"You can see how community members acted with hostility. Watch a man with no mask threaten us, then hurl a racial slur at me," Kim, who wore a mask, is heard narrating in a video clip he shared on Twitter.
A maskless man approached Kim as another Jewish man — with a mask on — is seen recording the incident. "You know, I just had corona. Come here, chinky, come here, let me give you a little corona," the maskless man told Kim.
Kim, who is a reporter with WABC, posted the video of the abuse on Twitter and said the maskless man identified himself as a Hasidic Jew and called him "chinky" seven times. "He went on about his feelings about Chinese people. For the record, I'm an American born and raised, served my country, and I'm of Korean descent," Kim said a tweet.
The Jewish man recording the incident did not condemn the racial abuse and instead said it was a "free country we can say whatever we want," the journalist noted. The incident garnered support for Kim with several Twitter users denouncing the racist incident.
"Wow. I absolutely condemn that kind of speech, as a fellow American and a Jew. That is unacceptable. He should be ashamed," one Twitter user wrote.
Another user tweeted: "So sorry you had to experience that type of rude behavior. It really hurts to see you offended that way! Those type of People just don't know what diversity, kindness and respect is all about."
Kim, who joined WABC in September 2015, was born and raised in Philadelphia, according to his profile on the news website. Previously, he served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves and graduated from Non-Commissioned Officer's Academy on the Commandant's List.
The Orthodox Jewish community in New York City has been at odds with the state and city officials over enforcement of restrictions on religious gatherings. Earlier this month, a group of Orthodox Jews took to the streets of Brooklyn against the restrictions. The community leaders accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to singling out their community. However, city officials have clarified that the rules did not target a specific community.