Not a hate crime

Taeyoon Choi
2 min readFeb 16, 2022

I’m deeply upset to read about another murder of Asian person in NYC. Christina Yuna Lee was murdered in her home on February 14, 2021. How is this not a hate crime?

From the Times, “Though the police have not called the killing a hate crime, attacks against Asian Americans have been on the rise since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.” Another article, “As the debate over what legally qualifies as anti-Asian bias unfolds, the community is grappling with the reality that the law is simply not designed to account for many of the ways in which Asian-Americans experience racism.”

How is this — stalking and sneaking into a stranger’s home, murdering her mercilessly with more than 40 stabs, and claiming innocence — has nothing to do with racial aggression and prejudice against Asian people? How is the police statement unrelated with the systemic erasure of racism that Asian people experience? How is this act of gendered violence unrelated with the stereotype of Asian women as hypersexualized commodity and submissive subjects? How is that unrelated with hate?

I don’t know what the murderer was thinking when he followed her. I know own thing for sure. He knew that no one will come to help her.

I never met Christina and I don’t live in NYC anymore. The murder feels intimate nonetheless. At one point in my time in NYC, I lived a few blocks away from her Chrystie Street apartment and she resembles many of my friends who still live in NYC.

Why do I get a sense that non-Asian people don’t really care? They didn’t care when Atlanta shooting happened, or when Michelle Alyssa Go was murdered. Both incidents that were officially labeled, “not racially motivated.” Negligence is a form of hate.

Rest In Peace #christinayunalee
My condolences to her family and friends.



Taeyoon Choi

immigrant. art. tech. learning. accessibility. inclusion. Co-founder @sfpc. fellow @datasociety. artist