St. Paul, Minn.— Senator Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) spoke out against Asian Americans becoming the target of xenophobic and bigoted attacks as the COVID-19 pandemic causes fear and confusion in American society. State officials are investigating cases alleging racial discrimination that appear to blame Asian Americans for the spread of the virus.
Sen. Champion released the statement below denouncing the rising discrimination and hate crimes against Asian Americans in Minnesota and his plea to diffuse racial tensions in our communities:
“It is unconscionable that people of Asian descent have been blamed, shunned, verbally abused, bullied, and even physically assaulted as we all struggle to get through this challenging time. As an African American leader, I’ve experienced first-hand racial injustice, and it hurts. I empathize with our Asian American members of our community, and I plead with every Minnesotan to stop the harassment and other bias-related incidents that has put fear into our friends and neighbors of Asian descent. Please help spread the truth and diffuse racial tensions. It is illogical to attach ethnicity to COVID-19, nobody is to blame or has caused this horrible outbreak. Viruses don’t discriminate, and neither should we. In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to come together and treat everyone with respect.
The CDC provides guidance on reducing stigma, and MDH also has resources available such as the Viruses Don’t Discriminate flyer on the MDH Coronavirus Materials page. If you have experienced discrimination from a business or organization, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights: call 651-539-1133 to speak with an investigator. The entire process is free. Interpretation and translation services are available.”
For more information about COVID-19, please go to the Department of Health website. A hotline is available at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.
As always, please reach out to Sen. Champion with comments and/or suggestions on this issue or any other. He can be reached by phone at 651-296-9246 —please leave a voicemail and he will follow up—or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”