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Grandmother Who Fended Off Attacker Is Donating GoFundMe Earnings To Charity

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The 75-year-old Chinese woman who made news last week for her quick self-defense moves has decided generosity is the best offense against Asian American racism. Last Wednesday, Xiao Zhen Xie was punched in the face by a white man on a San Francisco street. She countered by hitting the attacker with a wooden board. What followed was a community fundraiser on GoFundMe growing to nearly $1 million to support her and climbing.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The San Francisco attack happened the morning after the Atlanta shootings that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent. Now, when Xiao Zhen Xie was hit, her instinct was to fight back.

SHAPIRO: She grabbed a wooden board from her shopping cart and hit the suspect, Steven Jenkins. He was left with a bloody mouth and was carted on a stretcher to the ambulance. Her physical injuries, however, included two black eyes and a swollen wrist. Her grandson John Chen told local station KPIX in San Francisco that she is still traumatized from the attack.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN CHEN: As you guys see, she is extremely terrified. She's terrified to even step out.

CORNISH: This week, Chen wrote on the GoFundMe site that his grandmother plans to donate all the funds that were meant for her medical expenses, nearly $1 million to the Asian American community to fight racism. She told him, quote, "We must not submit to racism. And we must fight to the death if necessary." Chen wrote on the fundraising site, quote, "She insists on making this decision, saying this issue is bigger than her." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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