APTOS, Calif. (KION) An apparent act of racism at an Aptos skatepark on Wednesday.
A Santa Cruz family tells KION their two Asian American boys were allegedly bullied, called "China kids" and accused of bringing in COVID-19. It is part of a disturbing trend of prejudice against people of Asian descent in the U.S.
The two boys, half-Korean and half-caucasian, are only six and nine years old. Daniel and Makai Clark are your typical kids from Santa Cruz, more interested in grinding up the half pipe than anything else right now.
But they tell KION on Wednesday, they allegedly confronted an ugly act of racism.
"Kids called us Chinese," said Makai.
"And they said go away, you have the coronavirus," said Daniel.
The kids say they tried to be kind, but the bullies were relentless.
"When he called us Chinese kids, we thought he was rude and then we tried to go away but he just kept going where we were," said Daniel.
"Oh, it tore me up. I felt terrible for them. My daughter had dealt with that about 25 years ago here in this community," said Kelly Clark, the father of Daniel.
Kelly Clark is Daniel's father and Christina is Makai's mother. Christina says because of the tie between COVID-19 and China, things have gotten worse for people of Asian descent.
According to Stop AAPI Hate, "Asian Americans in California have self-reported 832 incidents of discrimination and harassment in the last three months, including 81 incidents of assault and 64 potential civil
"That they've been made fun of or people jokingly say oh you brought COVID or stay away or just make kind of mocking jokes about," said Christina Clark.
"The environment we're in these days with the racial slurs, there's just really no place for that. And why that would come out on a kids playground is really uncalled for," said Kelly Clark.
Christina says she was made fun of for being half-Asian when she was a child. It is something she still remembers now as a 32-year-old. She tells KION it is as wrong now as it was back then, and she hopes her children won't grow up with these kinds of comments as part of their childhood memories.
PREVIOUS STORY: A family in Aptos says their children were bullied and harassed by other kids at a skatepark over their ethnicity and concerns about COVID-19.
The mother and father say each of their boys got called names and were told others didn’t want to be around them because they feared they brought the virus.
KION’s Josh Kristianto will have more from the kids tonight at 10 and 11 p.m.