SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — As cases of COVID-19 grow at a rapid pace in the Bay Area and across the country, so has coronavirus-related discrimination against Asian Americans, but community leaders and even Hollywood are calling out to stop the hate.
Comedian Chrissie Mayr posted a compilation video on Instagram of her and others singing “Kung Flu Fighting,” complete with kung fu moves. The video drew immediate backlash, and is just one hundreds of discriminatory, anti-Asian and racist attacks both online and off, fueled by the coronavirus outbreak.
On Friday, the Asian American news site “Next Shark” posted a disturbing video to Instagram of a group sucker-punching, robbing and laughing at a victim in Philadelphia.
And another viral video out of Daly City shows a racially-charged confrontation inside a Target after an Asian man coughed.
“The enemy is COVID-19. The enemy is not Chinese Americans. So for President Trump to refer to the virus as the Chinese virus, when his own public health officials are telling him not to do so, unfortunately continues the xenophobia,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco)
Assemblymember Chiu is also chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.
It joined the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action and San Francisco State University Asian American Studies Department to launch the “Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center” to collect and track incidents of anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate, violence and discrimination in the state and across the country.
Chiu said these incidents will help inform future policy discussions, and encouraged individuals to share their stories at STOP AAPI HATE.
He also sent a letter to Governor Newsom last week urging him to condemn bullying and hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans.
“We have seen a huge increase in people that are assaulting people on the basis of how they were born and the way they look,” said Newsom at a press conference Thursday. “I just want folks to know we are better than that. We are watching that. We are going to begin to enforce that more aggressively.”
Hollywood stars are also calling it out.
“Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people,” said actor Daniel Dae Kim on Instagram.
The star revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 and made a plea:
“The name calling gets us nowhere. When people are ill what matters most is how best to take care of ourselves and one another.”
As part of the new hashtag “Wash the Hate” campaign, notable Asian Americans like Mulan actor Tzi Ma are raising awareness about coronavirus-related harassment.
— tzi ma (@tzima8) March 18, 2020
“So the next time you wash your hands, wash out the hate that you may have for your fellow Americans. Hate will get you sick, even if the virus doesn’t,” said Ma via Twitter.