MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX) — South Bay restaurant owners took a stand against Asian hate by raising money this week to fight hate crimes against the AAPI community.
After hearing about the recent rise of violence and hate crimes toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Bushido restaurant owner Steven Yen said he knew he wanted to help in some way.READ MORE: UPDATE: Investigation Underway Into Fatal Freeway Shooting On I-580 In Oakland
“Tremendous turn out so far,” Yen said. “I didn’t know what to do and the only thing I really know is food.”
Yen and several friends came up with the idea to contribute a fraction of Wednesdays’ and Thursdays’ profits to StopAAPIHate.org, which tracks and responds to hate crimes and discrimination against Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Yen decided to contribute 50 percent of his profits for two days to the organization but he didn’t stop there. He reached out to other restaurant owners in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Los Altos and was able to get a total of 13 owners to participate in the effort.
“It’s cool because it’s not just Asian restaurants,” Yen said.
Each restaurant is donating a different percentage of their profits.
“Normally, I come on Fridays but I wanted to make sure I was giving part of my proceeds toward this campaign so that’s why I came today,” said longtime Bushido customer Doreen Mita-Juanitas. “I think it’s great. It’s a good cause.”READ MORE: COVID: Bay Area Health Officials, Schools Prepare To Vaccinate Kids 5-11 As Authorization Looms
Yen and a few of his customers said it is a cause they want to be a part of because of the fear they have for their own Asian American parents.
“My siblings and I have talked about getting them some sort of pepper spray,” Bushido customer Jimmy Hong said. “It’s disheartening for sure.”
“They’re just taking on defenseless, typically the elderly, so I have to tell my mom to really be careful,” said Mita-Juanitas.
Yen said he isn’t sure yet how much money the effort has raised or how much it will bring in but he said it’s about more than just that.
“It’s more about the awareness and the community coming together,” Yen said. “So far it’s been very successful in that respect.”
If you missed out on dining and donating during this week’s effort, Yen is already talking about expanding the fundraiser to other parts of the Bay Area.MORE NEWS: COVID: Muni To Suspend 'Short' Line Service Citing Vaccine Mandate Staffing Issues
Some of the restaurants that participated this week include Doppio Zero in Mountain View, Hong Kong Bistro, La Fontaine, Chef Chu’s in Los Altos and Go Fish Poke Bar as well as Taro San Japanese Noodle Bar in Palo Alto.