HomeAsian AmericansCoffee shop owner sounds alarm against Wuhan plague plaques

Coffee shop owner sounds alarm against Wuhan plague plaques

A coffee shop owner described as “super gross and racist” a sticker she found on her business of a panda holding chopsticks under the words “Wuhan plague.”

Krystile McNeil Rodriguez took to Facebook to express her concerns saying “there’s enough xenophobia and ignorance being spouted from this administration we certainly don’t need street art reinforcing this sh*t.”

She says the stickers have been plastered throughout Atlanta and urged people who see them to report it to police.

Rodriguez informed her landlord immediately after seeing the vandalism and says her landlord immediately came to rip them off the building.

“It’s doing nothing but reinforcing really awful stereotypes,” said Rodriguez.“I have Asian American friends that said it’s allergy season and they’re afraid to sneeze in public because of all of the hate speech.”

Asian Americans have reported increased harassment around the globe since  the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Asians make up 4% of Atlanta’s population, according to U.S. Census data.

Advancing Justice-Atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian American communities in Georgia and the Southeast, called the signs “hateful and dangerous rhetoric (that) has consequences.”

“Chinese Americans and those perceived to be are now victims of violence,” the organization said in a statement. “These plaques are the latest incident to harass the Asian American community and it is important we all condemn it. Hate has no place here.”

“It’s doing nothing but reinforcing really awful stereotypes,” said Rodriguez to the Atlantic Journal Constitution. “I have Asian American friends that said it’s allergy season and they’re afraid to sneeze in public because of all of the hate speech.”

Many pushed back on Rodriguez on her Facebook page saying they didn’t see the racism in the stickers.

Advancing Justice-Atlanta, however, backed up Rodriguez’ concerns.

“Chinese Americans and those perceived to be are now victims of violence,” the organization said in a statement. “These plaques are the latest incident to harass the Asian American community and it is important we all condemn it. Hate has no place here.”

Vietnamese American animator Rod Ben told the Journal-Constitution the stickers encourages people to place blame on those from Asian countries and Asian American residents.

“I’m worried for my parents going to the grocery store. Even older people are being harassed and attack, and if you’re not going to leave old people alone, where is (the harassment) going to stop?”

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