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San Antonio City Council Labels “Chinese Virus” as Hate Speech

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As a result of a resolution passed by the San Antonio city council, the phrase “Chinese virus” has been labeled as hate speech. Referencing an increase in hate speech in his city, Mayor Ron Nirenberg put forward the resolution, citing the use of such terms as “Chinese virus” and “Kung Fu virus” during the coronavirus pandemic as the root cause. According to a recent press report, citizens of this Texas Hill Country city are now asked to “report any such antisemitic, discriminatory or racist incidents to the proper authorities for investigation.”

In the meantime, Senator Ted Cruz has stated the decision of the San Antonio city council was “nuts.” His tweet, dated May 7, 2020, stated: “This is NUTS. SA City Council behaving like a lefty college faculty lounge, triggered by Chick-fil-A & the words ‘Wuhan virus’.” His Twitter post comes on the heels of comments made by President Trump referencing Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus.” This drew harsh criticism from some, to which he responded, “It’s not racist at all…It comes from China, that’s why.”

San Antonio City Council Labels "Chinese Virus" as Hate Speech

Photo: envato elements

Regarding the resolution, San Antonio’s Mayor Nirenberg stated there had been a noted increase in hate speech being used over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its city councilors voted in favor of the resolution at a count of 11-0. On May 8, 2020, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated, “the pandemic continues to unleash a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering…” and asked that governments “…act now to strengthen the immunity of our societies against the virus of hate.”

In San Antonio, the Golden Star restaurant, in particular, has been identified as having been hit hard with increased racism. Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales told dailymail.co.uk: “It’s been in operation for almost 90 years. They have been the victims of hate speech and hate crimes, with vandalism and that sort of thing on their property.”

The Asian American Alliance of San Antonio has expressed its thanks to the city council for reproving prejudice which is anti-Asian in nature, including all related terms of hateful speech, the dissemination of misinformation, and incidents of violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.