Prominent leaders of the Filipino American community are calling for justice and proactive safety measures for the elderly man who was attacked on May 30, as well as urgent steps to end the alarming rise in Asian hate crimes. The elderly Filipino American man, 75-year-old Amadeo Quindara, is living in fear for his life and safety as the attacker was recently released from jail and apparently continues to pose a threat to him. The perpetrator has only been charged with a misdemeanor and not for assault.
The attack comes at a time when there is an alarming surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans nationally, and as Nevada’s Filipino American population is growing rapidly. There was a disturbing 167% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes during the first year of the pandemic alone, according to the FBI. There are now approximately 170,000 Filipino Americans in Nevada, who fill vital roles working in the healthcare industry, education, small business, and every profession and cross-section of society. Below are statements from prominent leaders of the Filipino American community:
“When Filipino Americans heard about this brutal attack, we took it very personally, because the first thought we had was ‘That could have been my dad’,” said Jacque de Joya, President of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) – Nevada. “In the Filipino American community, we’re very family-oriented, and we revere our elders. So we felt like our own father had been attacked – it hit us right in our hearts. These kinds of hate crimes, which have been skyrocketing against Asian Americans, are absolutely unacceptable, especially here in our Las Vegas community. Justice has not been served for Mr. Quindara, and elected officials and law enforcement have taken this crime too lightly. Mr. Quindara is in imminent danger of being attacked again, so it is extremely important to issue a restraining order against his attacker immediately to ensure his safety. We also need officials to prioritize the safety of all Nevadans against hate crimes. All of us must come together across racial lines to increase understanding, education and compassion, and take real steps to end these terrible acts of violence. We are calling for action from our justice system and local government officials, as justice delayed is justice denied. NaFFAA Nevada is in solidarity with the rest of the Filipino American organizations and other organizations in our state.”
“This attack, and the rise in Asian Hate crimes in general, are so heartbreaking because this is America, where everyone is supposed to be welcome,” said Gloria Caoile, Co-Founder of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. “Filipino Americans are part of the tapestry of many communities that make Nevada thrive and grow. We’re nurses, teachers, small business owners, and work hard in many other professions. We are essential to the life of our city and state, but right now the Filipino American community is being treated as if we don’t count and don’t matter. I was a union leader for decades, and in the labor movement we have a saying, ‘An injury to one is an injury to all.’ This issue is about making sure that every Nevadan has safety and respect, starting with Mr. Quindara.”
“The attack on Mr. Quindara is part of the disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate from unprincipled politicians who are trying to scapegoat groups for their own political gain,” said Grace Vergara-Mactal, Executive Director of Nevada’s largest healthcare and public service union, SEIU Local 1107. “What politicians need to realize is that their rhetoric has real-world consequences and causes real pain — both physical and emotional. Our union represents thousands of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander members who are essential to our communities throughout Nevada and the nation. They work in home care agencies, hospitals, the tourism industry, local government and many other fields. We will not accept being targeted or victimized, and as an anti-racist organization, we will not stand on the sidelines. Along with our community partners, we will redouble our fight for justice and safety for all.”
The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) – Nevada represents the over 170,000 Filipinos in the state. Nationally, NaFFAA works on behalf of the 4 million Filipinos across the United States, and their mission is to promote the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans by amplifying their voices, advocating on behalf of their interests, and providing resources to facilitate their empowerment.
SEIU Nevada Local 1107 is the largest healthcare and public service union in the state, representing nearly 20,000 workers. SEIU represents thousands of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander members whose work is essential for our communities throughout Nevada and the nation. Together, SEIU 1107 members fight for good union jobs, quality services and a better quality of life for all working Nevadans.