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Boston Mayor Wu deals with racist messages over vaccine policy

By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent

Newly sworn-in Boston Mayor Michelle Wu disclosed during a radio interview that she’s been subjected to hateful messages on both social media and to the city’s 311 information line.

She spoke on Boston Public Radio WGBH on Wednesday during an hour long interview.

Many of the comments have come in response to her new vaccine policy which requires proof of at least one dose by January 15 to enter indoor restaurants, bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues, fitness gyms and workplaces.

Proof of the second dose will be mandated by February 15.

Wu is the first women of color ever elected as mayor of Boston and the first Asian American.

“I will say, I’ve seen my face photoshopped on all sorts of images. There’s constant calls associating me with the same hateful, racist, xenophobic language that the former president used in describing the virus and its origins and who was to blame,” she said.

Wu believes opposition to the vaccine mandate is based on “hatred, fear and confusion.” She said the linking of patriot songs and chants of “USA, USA,” to the anti-vaccine stance is “completely backwards.”

“I hear that there are anxiety and concerns,” Wu said. “I won’t try to get into people’s heads.”

She said calls to Boston’s 311 line come from across the country “spewing hateful rhetoric, feeling this is an outlet for their own insecurities or misinformation based theories,” she said.

Wu acknowledged the rhetoric can be “a little rattling” and “disappointing.”

“Every time I open my phone, its another dozen hateful messages from folks outside the city and all across the country,” she said.

“Unfortunately it’s nothing I am experiencing by myself. A lot of women of color, a lot of people of color in leadership position, Asian Americans in this moment through this pandemic, this is a very familiar experience, unfortunately.”

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