A woman who endured a distressing encounter in the Boston subway has come forward after a group of teenagers subjected her to racist abuse, attempting to block her exit from the train.
Vivian Dang, aged 25, recounted her ordeal to the media, explaining that the incident unfolded on the Red Line at approximately 10 p.m. last Thursday when a group of unidentified teenagers followed her into a train car. A video she recorded of the incident captures them using racial slurs, mocking her accent, and physically cornering her. In the video, one of the teens can be heard saying with a fake accent, “Can I get some dumplings? Can I get some ramen with the egg?”
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police confirmed that the investigation is ongoing but declined further comments on the matter. The morning after the attack, the police posted on social media that they were searching for the teenagers responsible for taunting, harassing, and threatening passengers, as well as damaging a train window before fleeing.
The video of the incident has since gone viral on TikTok, sparking conversations about public transit safety. Although the train was crowded, Dang explained that three women came to her aid during the ordeal. Two of them encouraged her to sit beside them, while another spoke up in her defense.
Dang expressed her gratitude, underscoring her belief that women spontaneously support one another due to shared concerns about public safety threats and harassment.
“We’re kind of looking out for each other. It’s always the women,” Dang remarked. “You see women pretending they know each other on the street just to avoid a stranger approaching them or something. It’s very normal for women to stick up for one another.”
Reflecting on the support she received, Dang highlighted the need for heightened awareness among the public regarding the racism and safety issues faced by many individuals.
“I’m hoping that this is an eye-opener for people using public transport and encourages them to be more vigilant about their surroundings,” Dang stated. “I also hope it sparks more discussions about the everyday racism that persists because not everyone can record their experiences.”
@dangvanessa (recorded by my sister) yesterday, my sister was racially harassed in Boston, MA on the red line. A woman stepped in trying to defend my sister. However, she was also getting racially attacked as well where they were mocking her and her accent. It all started when the group of teenagers came inside a cart screaming “this is a mass robbery.”one of them sat next to my sister and tried yanking someone’s shoe off, that’s when my sister switched carts and they followed her shortly after. They went in the same cart as my sister, called her a slut and racial slurs, and cornered her saying things like “don’t let her leave.” Thankfully, there was someone there to stick up for her and another person giving her pepper spray afterwards. My sister kept gaslighting the situation saying that it’s not a big deal and that it’s okay. When in fact, this behavior is truly disgusting and needs to change. Whoever is in the Boston area, be aware of this group and please report. #boston #mbta #racist #stopasianhate #stopracism #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #stopasianhate @veedang_ ♬ original sound – vanessa dang
Dang revealed that when the teens entered the train, they immediately began making threats toward passengers. She was initially in the same car as them but moved to another car when they attempted to remove a male passenger’s shoes. Unfortunately, the group followed her.
Dang recalled that the teens accused her of being racist for distancing herself from Black people and proceeded to unleash a barrage of anti-Asian insults, some of which were not captured in her recording.
Despite the provocation, Dang remained composed and attempted to appear unaffected by their comments. However, when the teens tried to trap her in the car and suggested not allowing her to leave, Dang began to fear that they might follow her home.
Fortunately, the group disembarked from the train before Dang did.
Dang stated that she has encountered racist remarks in the past, particularly during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when verbal attacks on public transit became more prevalent. She emphasized the need for media, politicians, and individuals with platforms to be more aware of the impact of their words and the blame directed at the Asian community, which has real-life consequences.
“The root of the problem lies in a lack of education and resources to control the information people are hearing and sharing,” Dang said.