An elderly Chinese woman who captured the nation's attention when she fought back against an attacker is drawing headlines once again. When Xiao Zhen Xie, said to be 75 or 76, was punched by a man last week as she waited to cross a San Francisco street, the grandmother ended up putting him on a stretcher by grabbing a wooden board and pummeling him. Xie didn't escape injury herself, ending up with "two serious black eyes" and a swollen wrist, per a GoFundMe set up by grandson John Chen. He adds that "she has been severely affected mentally, physically, and emotionally." The incident came in the aftermath of the Georgia spa shootings, in which six Asian women were killed, and amid a spike of attacks against Asian Americans overall since the pandemic started.
The nation responded by sending more than $930,000 to Chen's GoFundMe as of Wednesday—an amount that the family now says Xie is donating in full to help fight anti-Asian racism. "She insists on making this decision, saying this issue is bigger than [h]er," Chen says in an update on GoFundMe, per SFGate. "This is my grandma, my grandpa and our family's decision. We hope everyone can understand." Per CBS News, police say the same man who attacked Xie, 39-year-old Steven Jenkins, also assaulted 83-year-old Vietnamese man Ngoc Pham, who has his own GoFundMe. Chen, who says his grandma is "in better spirits" and improving physically and mentally, added that Xie declares "we must not summit to racism" and "must fight to the death if necessary." (Read more Asian-Americans stories.)