With the World Health Organization announcing that coronavirus is a pandemic and the United States reporting over 35,000 confirmed cases and at least 460 deaths, people are on high alert.
From postponing all travel plans, to airlines cancelling their flights to whole countries being on weeks of lockdown and people practicing social distancing, people are just about doing anything not to contract the virus.
But with any pandemic, as more cases and deaths are reported on social media, the news has sent people on a wide-spread panic that has caused racially motivated attacks towards anybody of Asian descent, or anyone that could similarly look Asian.
Hate crime task forces have been getting in touch with social media users that have posted videos or tweets about verbal and/or physical attacks to try and find these perpetrators that have attacked and abused others just for looking Asian.
The hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus, which means “I am not a virus” in French has also gone viral, in order to find a way to get their stores out there are rally for support online. A lot of incidents have been reported all across the globe. Here are some of them:
Singaporean studying in London was attacked by four men who shouted ‘I don’t want your coronavirus in my country.’
In a facebook post with his original statement, 23-year-old Jonathan Mok was walking down Oxford Street in London at around 9:25 p.m. last February 24, when he heard people shouting “coronavirus” directly at him. When he made eye contact with one of his harassers, the man screamed at him saying, “don’t you dare look at me.”
He further wrote, “I was shocked and angry because he directed a racist remark at me and had the audacity to shout at me like I had wronged him.”
Mok then shared that he tried to confront this group of men, and once he did, they started beating him, shouting, “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country.”
According to The Washington Post, Mok posted earlier on Facebook sharing that he was punched in the face twice and “exploded with blood.” He also shared photos showing his injuries, such as the facial fractures he received, a black eye and further swelling – which doctors already told him that he may need an operation to heal these fractures.
According to BBC News, the British police shared images of four men that they were going to interview in connection to the attack last March 4, 2020. Detective Sergeant Emma Kirby also made a statement saying they are “committed to finding the perpetrators.”
Mok had also shared on his social media:
“To those people who told me that London isn’t racist, think again. Racists constantly find excuses to expound their hatred — and in this current backdrop of the coronavirus, they’ve found yet another excuse.”
High school student attacked by bullies who accused him of having coronavirus in L.A.
Last February, bullies accused and attacked an Asian-American high school student for having coronavirus. CBS News reported that the 16-year-old had to be brought to the emergency room from the physical wounds. The student’s name, nor the school have not been released to the public.
In a press conference, the executive director of the L.A. County Human Relations Commission, Robin Toma said that:
“He went to the hospital originally, and went to the emergency room. They were taking MRIs to ensure he didn’t have a concussion or other harm.”
The L.A. County Supervisor, Hilda Solis also spoke at the same press conference condemning all bullies’ actions and made it clear that coronavirus isn’t something that L.A. residents should be worrying about.
“I am concerned because, as someone who is also of immigrant background, I know what it means to face discrimination and racial profiling. And when I heard of the recent incident of a young child being bullied and actually was assaulted because he was pointed out as being of Asian background — and children, unfortunately, repeat things that are said by other people, including their own parents, so we need to put a stop to that.”
It is unclear to the press how many bullies were involved in the altercation, and if they are being punished for their actions.
Fencing student of Chinese descent gets brutally attacked in Adelaide, Australia.
After sharing that one of his students was attacked for speaking his native tongue, fencing teacher, Mark Holgate said he was “ashamed to be Australian.” He also added that his student will need “expensive facial reconstruction surgery” to prevent him from losing his eye.
Last February 24, 2020, Holgate posted on Facebook saying:
“Today I’m angry and ashamed to be Australian. Three days ago a Chinese student of mine was cowardly assaulted for walking down the street speaking another language. This is Constantine, and he’s one of the nicest people I’ve met, and it’s been a privilege to train and fence with him. Now that’s all over, he won’t be fencing for a long time. The coward who attacked him, spewing racist trash and telling him to speak English, smashed a huge section of his cheek bone, and he’s going to need serious and expensive facial reconstruction surgery to keep from losing the eye.”
He continued on saying that, “Constantine traveled from China to Australia to learn historical fencing and this is what Australia has given him. I’m just gutted for him. Well done Australia, way to encourage tourism. Our country has an ugly history of racism. Challenge it and call it out. And look after your Asian friends, the corona virus is just another excuse that’s stirring up racist violence.”
He also added that “thankfully the assailant was stupid, coming back to the scene of the crime, and was apprehended by police.”
In order to help Constantine with his medical bills, Holgate has created a GoFundMe page with a goal set for $6,000, and thanks to the support of over 200 donors, he exceeded that goal by $2,000.
If you’ve been attacked or have witnessed an attack, please contact your local authorities right away.
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