Asian Americans victims of xenophobic attacks because of COVID-19

NOW: Asian Americans victims of xenophobic attacks because of COVID-19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- We’re all afraid of contracting coronavirus, but for Asian Americans, the pandemic also comes with an additional fear of being profiled as a carrier for the disease.

According to local advocacy groups ElevAsian and the Asian American Pacific Islanders Milwaukee Coalition, there have been several incidents of discrimination, including a woman who faced verbal attacks at a local grocery store and was asked to “stop spitting her virus.” Another incident was reported by a nurse who endured discriminatory remarks from patients who feared catching COVID-19. Even restaurants have faced it. Lucky Liu’s in Milwaukee says they had to close due to xenophobic and verbal attacks.

CBS 58 tried reaching out to some of these victims, but they did not feel comfortable reliving their traumatic experiences.

Local advocates say the virus doesn’t discriminate, and we shouldn’t either.

“Any discrimination or racist acts, especially during this time, is that we as a community need to support one another, we need to advocate for one another, and also if they don’t feel like they have the voice, then help them find that voice and empower them so we can grow as a community and re-frame that narrative and change the narrative as well,” said Erik Kennedy, co-founder of ElevAsian.

“We have neighbors that are in danger because of the political rhetoric that exists,” said Pardeep Kaleka, Director of Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. “So as loud as that microphone is, we have to be much louder in saying to the community that these are our friends, these are our neighbors, this is our community. And we can’t blame-goat anyone for any problem.”

Local advocacy groups recommend reporting any incidents to your local law enforcement agencies.

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