HomeAsian AmericansHmong Americans and other Asians in Minnesota feel sting of coronavirus racism

Hmong Americans and other Asians in Minnesota feel sting of coronavirus racism

A couple in Woodbury, MN returned home to a expletive-laden note on their front door advising them to “take the Chinese virus back to China.”

A White shopper held her nose and walked away after seeing a Hmong woman at the mall.

And Asians throughout the state are facing increased name calling and denial of service.

“My blood was boiling,” recalled Alvin Moua to the Star Tribune about finding the racist note on his front door.

The incidents have become so prevalent Minnesota Governor Tim Walz felt it necessary to address the issue.

A state hotline set up to answer questions about the coronavirus has received numerous racist comments about Asian Americans, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

“We received enough racist and xenophobic comments on our hotline that we had to develop resources for our hotline staff to be able to respond to some of those comments,” said Danushka Wanduragala at the Minnesota Department of Health , “and make sure that they can focus on getting information out to the caller and not spend so much time having to deal with comments like that.”

Gao Fitch experienced that first hand. She recalls the reaction of a White woman who saw her approaching.

“She plugged her nose, and I didn’t think of it at all,” said Fitch, who is Hmong American. “I felt like, ‘OK, you know, I wasn’t sick. I don’t have the virus, and I felt judged based on my race.”

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