Road Trip: Close to Home - Museum of Chinese in America
News 12 is taking a trip to the Museum of Chinese in America in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!
Just a short walk from the Canal Street subway stations sits the Museum of Chinese in America, lovingly known as MOCA.
The museum's president says it's a great way to experience the culture of Chinatown and also tackle some tough topics with your loved ones. She says the signs, photos, paintings and letters throughout create a bridge to talk about the many experiences of hate against Asian Americans, which she wants visitors to know is not a new issue.
"Discrimination and racism toward Asian Americans in America has gone on for 250 years. It is not just a moment," says Nancy Yao Maasbach, president of the museum.
MOCA's newest exhibit, "Responses: Asian-American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism." shows a timeline of the history of Asian hate featuring coronavirus-fueled discrimination.
"The former administration's reference to the COVID-19 virus as a foreign virus or a 'Chinese flu,' you then saw the escalation of hate crimes toward Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders of this country."
Maasbach says she also wants the museum to be an identity search for families visiting.
"Who are you and where did your parents come from and what were their contributions? And asking the tougher questions ... if you're someone who is white, why do you seem to have more acceptance in this country than someone with a Chinese face?" she asks.
Since reopening after the pandemic shutdown, MOCA is free to all visitors. It's open Thursday through Sunday.