Following a recent hate crime incident at the Wing Luke Museum, Michael Fong, the Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, has announced a substantial contribution towards the museum’s repair efforts.
Fong revealed that his agency has allocated $50,000 to assist in the restoration of the museum and will also match an additional $50,000 from the City of Seattle.
On Sept. 14, 76-year-old Craig Milne, used a sledgehammer to smash windows at the Wing Luke Museum. During his arrest, Milne made disturbing statements, claiming that “the Chinese ruined my life.” He has been charged with a hate crime and malicious mischief.
The attack on the museum not only left its staff traumatized but also ignited outrage within the Seattle Chinatown-International District (CID) community.
“Wing Luke is unique in the nation, a source of pride that exemplifies our shared value of inclusivity,” said Fong. “We feel a deep sense of responsibility not only to help repair the senseless and malicious damage to the physical structure, but to engage in meaningful discussions about what we must do together to stem the troubling rise in hate crimes and intolerance in our communities.”
“This joint investment will help alleviate some financial burden,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “We recognize the impact of this incident goes beyond the cost of repairs, and my administration and our city leadership remain committed to working directly with AAPI communities to combat hate and create a safer Seattle for everyone.”
Harrell also encouraged “every neighbor to visit our historic and dynamic Chinatown International District and the Wing Luke Museum,
Joël Barraquiel Tan, executive director of the Wing Luke Museum the outpouring of support in the aftermath “inspires us to continue our mission’s work.”