AAPI Hate Case – Syracuse Denny’s Incident [1997]

Twenty-four years ago, some college students just wanted to eat Denny’s together. What unfurls next proves AAPI hate has always existed.

To highlight the importance of equality, we unearthed an exclusive interview that took place on the Syracuse campus in April 2014.

The Syracuse Denny’s Incident

The subject – Amnat Chittaphong discussed some of the happenings that took place on April 11, 1997 outside of a Denny’s restaurant at 3414 Erie Blvd.

In brief, six Asian American students and one white student were glossed over in the waiting booth as the restaurant continued to seat other people who arrived after them. Once a polite concern was raised, the students were met with a furious escort. 

2 Nov 1996: Linebacker Antwaune Ponds of the Syracuse Orange in action on the field during a play in the Orange 30-7 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Credit: Jamie Squire)

The security guards (off-duty sheriff deputies) pushed and maced the inquiring students as seated caucasian students flooded out into the parking lot. The Asian American students were beaten badly by white thugs and had to be rescued by two future NFL players.

Afterwards, the perpetrators were able to reenter and resume their meal while the rescuers and victims were denied access to the restaurant.

“People are people so why should it be – you and I should get along so awfully.”

Depeche Mode

I find it amusing that society is out to “cancel” the notion of gender. Reason being, this “cancellation” only creates more confusion, controversy and argumentation. Why don’t we cancel race? Well, because that would simply cause too much unity. 


AAPI hate sees an uptick

We are all apart of one race – the human race and we must treat each other as such. Our differences make us unique but they do not make us lesser or greater – no matter what the case may be.

Jeremy Lin celebrates his first NBA Title via parade

Unfortunately, in 2021 harsh realities of racism and bigotry still exist beyond just one afflicted race. With that being said, there has been an uptick in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander people (AAPI). 

The Atlanta spa shooting is an example as the shooters’ motive is still being carefully considered. Regardless, the ignorance and spewed venom from the lips of antagonists have started to shift mightily toward people of Asian descent ever since Covid began to ravage our nation.

Love thy neighbor…

Why must someone always receive the brunt of mistreatment? In elementary school, they taught us, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

aapi hate protest sign
Follow as Scripted Above

Unfortunately, more individuals are struggling with this basic concept since the previous President made it okay to be racist again. His tactics emboldened and encouraged the vile underbelly of our country to crawl out from under their burrows and start acting ignorantly.

AAPI hate & assault aftermath

Protests occur outside of Denny’s in Syracuse (1997)

No proper justice was served in the matter.

Christopher Warnock acknowledged the fact that he did indeed throw a punch but DA William Fitzpatrick did not charge him with assault due to the fact that “injuries students received were not enough to constitute an assault charge.”

As Warnock walked, over a year later in August 1998 he was charged with 1st degree manslaughter. If DA Fitzpatrick would have done his job, he may have prevented the death of another person.

Time and time again, we see that history repeats itself. Yes, it is important to evaluate everything on a case-by-case basis. It is just unfortunate that nonwhites tend to struggle with issues such as these more often than their privileged counterparts.

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