An 82-year-old Asian-American Californian woman, Yong Choi, received a threatening letter at her home in Leisure World celebrating her husband’s recent death.
Claudia Choi, 46, the woman’s daughter reported to authorities on Monday claiming she fears for her mother’s safety who’d received the racist letter at her Orange County retirement home in Seal Beach.
The handwritten, anonymous letter began, “Now that (your husband) is gone makes it one less Asian to put up with in Leisure World.” It goes on to read that other members of the retirement home were not ‘resting well’ with Asian-American living among them and threatened the woman to “watch out” and “go back to your country where you belong,” reports KTLA.
Byong Choi, father of Claudia Choi, retired accountant and restaurateur, died at the age of 83 due to tuberculosis in his bone marrow on February 24 in Orange County, California. Survived by his four daughters and a wife, his funeral couldn’t be held till March 19 due to the pandemic.
Seal Beach Chief of Police Philip Gonshak stated the letter, sent from a post office in Los Angeles, is their top priority as the hate crimes have increased in the country over the last five years. Talking to KTLA, he says they are witnessing more and more violence committed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and they will not allow this to happen in Seal Beach.
Lt. Nick Nicolas, Seal Beach Police, in conversation with KTLA, shares that the intimidating letter has “disturbed the family very much” and “if they feel scared, then it meets some of the elements for criminal threats.”
Claudia revealed her parents were married for almost 57 years and her parents shifted to Leisure World upon retirement where her father used to enjoy playing golf and karaoke and built friendly relations with others.
Leisure Worldalso issued a statement denouncing hate and claiming they believe the ‘anonymous individual to be resident of Leisure World.”
It states the crime is under full investigation and their community is committed to realizing “our country’s vision of unity” and “neighbour helping neighbour.”
It read that the “malicious and egregious act of hate speech threatens” their core values of racial equity and social justice.