The rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is a dark reminder of the pain Cho has personally experienced for decades. “When I see these videos and when I see these photos, when I’m seeing this happen to our elders, it’s like I can’t breathe,” Cho admitted, especially after the NYC-based attack against a senior Filipino woman who was violently kicked while a security guard looked on.
“I remember feeling like that was my childhood. That happened to me so many times and what’s crazy is people don’t believe it when you say nobody helps, nobody stops,” Cho confessed. On April 1, 2021, Cho was verbally attacked while walking her dog. “I shouldn’t be scared but I am,” Cho captioned on Instagram. “All my trauma as a kid has been coming back.”
When Cho was 10 years old, she survived a similar attack. “At that time I really, really though I was dying,” Cho remembered. She was repeatedly kicked while a crowd of kids watched; Cho was later hospitalized for her injuries. “I’m not, like, mad at the kids for not stopping it, but I realize like how crazy it is to have grown adults, to have security guards, just turn the other way,” she stated. Yet from her family’s urging, her experience was “pushed under the rug and hidden,” with her parents not wanting to press charges and just encouraging a young Cho to “move on.”
“It was a result of fear and culture,” Cho explained.