The San Antonio City Council approved a formal resolution calling for the end of hate speech that targets Asian Americans in the age of the coronavirus.
The resolution, introduced by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, said deliberate use of terms like “Chinese virus” or “kung fu virus” “encourages hate crimes and incidents against Asians and further spreads misinformation.” The resolution also denounced anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories against the Jewish community.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg said during crises the best and worst of humanity can be seen, adding that San Antonio has a diverse mosaic of people.
“We stand side by side with everyone in this community in that we will call out racism, and bigotry, and hate speech when we see it, especially if it’s taking advantage of a pandemic,” he said.
The words “Chinese virus” said by President Donald Trump, media outlets and other high-ranking figure heads have been publically decried. The president used the term numerous times during his daily coronavirus briefings from the White House.
The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council reported more than 1,500 instances of discrimination, including harassment, in one month of reporting between mid-March and mid-April.
The Anti-Defamation League also highlighted the targeting of Jewish people through conspiracies of global control.
“We’ve seen incidents that are clearly racist in nature all around this country, and we’ve even seen some incidents here but this is really about standing in solidarity with all the members of our community,” Nirenberg said.
The mayor declined to detail any local incidents that took place.
“I don’t like to shine light on people who are just seeking attention but do it at the expense of others,” he added.
The city council unanimously approved the resolution, which does not create an ordinance or fine but is largely symbolic. District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez said the United States has a long history and tradition of xenophobia.
“It’s in our DNA, it’s alive and well,” Pelaez said. “I believe that it’s more dangerous and more contagious than a virus. Thankfully however there is a vaccine, that vaccine is light, that vaccine is light is drawing moral lines in the sand and saying we will not tolerate this.”
You can view the resolution here.
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