As an Asian immigrant whose parents owned a Chinese restaurant, Kevin Heldman’s story for Capital New York story about the perils of being an Asian delivery person in the Bronx really hit home with me. For immigrants, so little separates us between prosperity and poverty. The line is difficult to contemplate:
You go to that drawer full of menus with dragons or pandas or bamboo on them, and the random Chinese characters, and the obligatory promise of fast and free delivery. And in 25 minutes or so a Chinese man on a bike will come to your door and you’ll maybe drop him a xie xie with your tip and he’ll give you a bye bye and he’s gone. End of story.
But there’s a different version of that story that goes on in many parts of this city. And that version is about money, class, race, and education. And in that version people are robbed, assaulted and killed, and people live in fear, constantly on guard and under threat over Chinese food.