Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Are at an ‘Alarming Level’, UN Says

Experts from the United Nations (UN) formally expressed concerns about the growing number of attacks against Asian Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the alleged lack of measures from authorities to combat them.

The experts, appointed by the Human Rights Council (HRC), serve as rapporteurs on (1) contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; (2) human rights of migrants; and (3) discrimination against women and girls.

“Racially motivated violence and other incidents against Asian-Americans have reached an alarming level across the United States since the outbreak of COVID19,” experts continued.

These included vandalism, verbal harassment, physical attacks, and refusal of service and access.

Verbal harassment comprised the majority of the incidents. Victims reportedly heard profanities such as “f**ing Chinese,” “die ch*nk die,” “yellow n*****” and “go back to China, b**ch!”

The group also cited the alleged link between President Donald Trump’s anti-China rhetoric and the surge in hate incidents. They noted that his actions have been “seemingly legitimizing” the phenomenon.

Trump has used controversial terms to refer to COVID-19, including “Chinese Virus,” “China Virus,” “China Plague,” “Wuhan Virus,” “Kung Flu.” The World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the UN, has long opposed the use of such terms.

“Don’t attach locations or ethnicity to the disease, this is not a ‘Wuhan Virus,’ ‘Chinese Virus’ or ‘Asian Virus.’ The official name for the disease [COVID-19] was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization,” the agency said in March.

Congress has since introduced bills (House of RepresentativesSenate) condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment. The House passed its version by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) last month, which led to attacks against the official herself.

Korean American entrepreneur Sophia Chang Told by Prudential Employee James Hilbrant to ‘Go Back to Wuhan’ While Having Lunch at Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach

The man who told Korean American entrepreneur Sophia Chang to “go back to Wuhan” while out having lunch with her sister has been allegedly identified as James Hilbrant of Orange County, California.

According to his LinkedIn page, Hilbrant works as a “financial professional” for Prudential Advisors and can “provide assistance on a range of financial issues-from evaluating insurance needs to helping clients grow their assets.” On Tuesday, Sept. 15, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles associated with Hilbrant were deactivated.

The incident happened at Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach, California over the weekend when Chang was having lunch with her sister. Hilbrant made eye contact with Chang while he was heading to the bathroom and allegedly told her to “go back to Wuhan.”

“Once he returned, we asked him why he would say that and he goes ‘I don’t speak Chinese, I don’t know what you’re talking about,’” Chang said in her Instagram post. “I’m so disgusted. If you see people practicing this sort of behavior. REPORT THEM.”

Hilbrant was reportedly asked by a staff member to leave the restaurant but didn’t leave immediately.

“I believe he personally knew the waitress who was serving him, because she gave him a hug before they left,”Chang said. “They were chatting for a bit so it took awhile for them to leave.”

In a statement posted on Instagram, Bluewater Grill said they “immediately addressed the situation with the customer and asked them to leave.”

“We understand that some feel there was a lack of urgency in removing this patron from the premises,” the statement continued, “However, the safety of all our customers and staff is our utmost concern and we wanted to make sure this situation did not escalate and become hostile.”

Bluewater Grill continued to note that it took the customer 10 minutes before he could pay for his bill and leave the premises as well as the hug that happened between him and one of the staff.

“Within 10 minutes the person paid their bill and left the premises. There is also mention of the customer hugging our employee, and we would like to make it clear that this was unsolicited and occurred before our employee was made aware of the situation.”

“After the patron left, we made sure that our guests were comfortable and well taken care of. The patron in question is no longer welcome at Bluewater Grill.”

Bluewater Grill, which has been in business for 24 years, said they pride themselves “on our customer service, diverse staff and commitment to a safe environment free of racism or harassment.”

“We do not condone prejudice or racism in any form. This includes remarks made by customers which we cannot control. We take matters like this seriously and are disgusted that any guest would be subjected to an insensitive remark by another guest.”

Prudential Advisors told NextShark, “Prudential has zero tolerance for discrimination and takes these allegations very seriously. This matter will be investigated to the fullest extent possible and appropriate action will be taken, as warranted.”

Source: NextShark

University of Missouri (Mizzou/MU) marketing professor Joel Poor relieved of teaching duties after telling student from Wuhan ‘Let me get my mask on’ in Zoom video lecture

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In the video posted on Twitter, Poor asked students if anyone was from outside the U.S., and a student responded that he was from Wuhan, China. After hearing where the student was from, Poor made this comment.

“Let me get my mask on.” 

Following the backlash on Twitter, Poor wrote in a later email that the comment, which was in reference to Wuhan being the origin of COVID-19, was a joke. While Poor may have meant this comment to be humorous, some MU students do not see it in that way. Many students have replied to the tweet saying that they found the comment to be racist and xenophobic.

Source: Columbia Missourian

Asian Americans face dual challenges: Surging unemployment and racism

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A new study from UCLA reports that since the start of the pandemic, 83 percent of the Asian American labor force with high school degrees or lower has filed unemployment insurance claims in California — the state with the highest population of Asian Americans — compared to 37 percent of the rest of the state’s labor force with the same level of education.

At the same time, new research shows that discrimination against Asian Americans is surging. More than 2,300 Asian Americans had reported bias incidents as of July 15, according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, or A3PCON, which hosts the self-reporting tool Stop AAPI Hate.

The UCLA report, published last week, examined the impacts of the coronavirus on the Asian American labor force in California. It revealed that disadvantaged Asians working in service industries have been “severely impacted.”

Researcher Paul Ong, who worked on the report, said that beyond pervasive service industry struggles, he believes people are abandoning Asian establishments because of biases.

“This is why racializing COVID-19 as ‘the China virus’ has profound societal repercussions. We have seen this in the increase in verbal and physical attacks on Asians and in material ways in terms of joblessness and business failures,” he said in an interview.

Source: NBC News

Republicans are worried Trump is hurting himself with rally-like performances at coronavirus briefings and are urging him to step back

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Top Republicans are concerned that President Donald Trump is hurting his reelection chances with rally-like performances at the daily White House press briefings on coronavirus, the New York Times reported on Thursday, and are urging him to step back and let medical experts take the helm.

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell in the early days of the coronavirus crisis privately encouraged Trump to let Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx — the leading medical experts on the White House coronavirus task force — to spearhead the daily briefings, according to The Times.

Source: Business Insider

Death of Dr. Li Wenliang, who in December 2019 warned public about coronavirus and reprimanded by government for “making false comments on the Internet”, triggers national backlash over China’s abuse of censorship

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Li sent a message to his medical-school alumni group on December 30 warning that seven patients had been quarantined at Wuhan Central Hospital after coming down with a respiratory illness that seemed like the SARS coronavirus. The police in Wuhan then reprimanded and silenced Li, requiring him to sign a letter acknowledging that he was “making false comments.”

Li died of the coronavirus early on Friday at Wuhan Central Hospital, where he had been in intensive care for three weeks. The hospital confirmed his death in a statement on Weibo at about 4 a.m. local time.

Source: Business Insider