Man's Anti-Asian Tirade on New York City Subway Recorded

Video posted to social media on Thursday shows a man's anti-Asian tirade at a New York City subway station as hate crimes against Asian people have skyrocketed in recent years.

Kat Yen, a theater director based in New York City, recorded and posted to Instagram a series of videos showing her confrontation with the man at the Times Square-42nd Street subway station on March 5.

The video starts off by showing the man—who was not identified—berating her for recording his racist rant while telling her he believes "all Asians should die."

"They need to all die," the man said. "I have a right to say that."

The tirade continued with him hurling racist remarks toward Yen about why Chinese-Americans cannot live "in your own country" while Yen and another passenger pointed out that being Asian and being American are "not mutually exclusive." Yen told the man she was born in St. Vincent Midtown Hospital—only blocks from where the confrontation took place.

Warning: Video contains language and remarks that may be considered to be offensive.

"I'm racist. I'm proud of what I say," he responded. "But I'm only racist toward Asians because they're the worst thing."

Eventually, other passengers stood between her and the man before another passenger pulled him out of the subway car and onto the platform, according to Yen.

Yen wrote on Instagram that she has seen the man targeting Asian people on the subway in the past, but has never had this level of interaction with him or had other people intervene.

She also wrote that before she began recording, she noticed the man "yelling in the faces of two younger Asian women who frankly, looked terrified," prompting her to place herself between them. After the other two women got off the train, he began harassing another Asian man. When he noticed Yen was recording him, however, he allegedly "directed his harassment and hate speech" toward her.

"Hate crimes against Asians need to be taken more seriously in NYC and more access to social services are needed," Yen wrote. "I don't know if this man has a mental illness but I know he's a repeat offender. Unfortunately, this event is pretty par for the course nowadays, as many Asians in NYC can probably attest to."

Yen said she believes police officers "ignored" her when she told them she believes the confrontation constitutes as a hate crime. However, the New York Police Department's webpage on hate crimes notes that "everyone has the right to express their likes, dislikes and opinions, no matter how offensive these expressions may be to others."

NYPD Lieutenant Jessica McRorie, who is also a spokesperson for Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI) wrote in a statement to Newsweek that the department's Hate Crime Task Force is aware of the video and is investigating it along with the Manhattan District Attorney.

The confrontation comes as anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City have risen drastically throughout the past few years. Yen pointed out the confrontation occurred at the same station Michelle Alyssa Go was fatally pushed onto subway tracks in front of an oncoming train in January.

Last year, there were 131 incidents of hate crimes against Asian people in New York City, a jump from 2020, when there were 28 hate crime incident reports against Asian people, according to police department's hate crime dashboard.

Man's anti-Asian tirade on NYC subway
A woman recorded and posted to Instagram a man’s anti-Asian tirade on a New York City subway at Times Square last Saturday. Spencer Platt/Getty Images