Neighbors stand guard at Asian-American family's home after they were harassed by racist extremists
Earlier this month, an Asian-American family was anticipating their annual celebration of the Lunar New Year at their Orange County, Calif. home but their festivities went awry when their event was crashed by racist extremists. Now, neighbors are rallying behind the family to protect their home.
According to The Washington Post, on the day of the Lunar New Year celebration, Haijun Si and his family were confronted by racist teenagers who banged on Si's door as they hurled racist epithets and lobbed rocks at the home. During an interview with the publication, Si recalled the harrowing events that transpired at his home.
"They yell, punch the door and windows, and ring the bell day and night," Si said. While speaking with the publication, he also revealed that unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. Si revealed over the last few months, he'd contacted the Orange County Sheriff's Department about the situation, but to no avail.
"I installed a camera and a fence, but they kept coming back," he said. "They are scaring my kids at night. They are afraid to go in their room themselves, so we have to move them to our room for almost five months now."
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Following the recent incident, Si reached out to his neighbor Layla Parks. While she is aware of the occasional antics teenagers are accustomed to, she admitted she was not aware of the severity of the harassment Si and his family were facing.
"I did not understand the extent of the harassment and how often it was occurring," she said. "I was outraged, and I wanted to take action right away. But I knew I needed to do it carefully."
Parks decided to take action to help protect the family. In the neighborhood's Facebook group, Parks shared footage of the recent attack as she called on residents to pitch in and help. She noted that the ultimate goal is: "For this family to have some peace again." Parks encouraged others to sign up to help her surveil the home from the hours of "6 p.m. until at least 12 a.m."
It did not take long for others to pitch in. Now, Parks has overwhelming support to help the family feel safe again in their own home. She shared her reaction to the positive response she's received. "It was more support than I had ever imagined or anticipated, and it is incredibly heartwarming," Parks said. "The community has really stepped up."
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