A video of an Asian man wrecking a sign that blamed China for the spread of COVID-19 in Melbourne, Australia, has gone viral on social media.
Where it happened: The sign, which was made of metal, was attached to a pole outside a home in Glen Waverley, a suburb in the City of Monash. It’s unclear who put it there or whose property the pole was located on.
- The sign had the words “Made in China” on it with an arrow that pointed to a miswritten “CO-VID 19.” The man who destroyed it said he visited the spot after hearing about it from a friend.
- “A friend told me someone posted a sign insulting Chinese people — saying coronavirus is from China,” the man said in Chinese. “We have to remove it.”
- The video, which was posted by TikTok user @kyl_c, shows the man using an electric saw to partially cut the sign into three pieces. He then proceeds to smash them with a hammer.
- The video ends with the man sawing the severed pieces into much smaller ones. A day later, the same TikTok account posted a follow-up video that shows the man explaining his actions.
- “As a Chinese, no matter where we are, we should have zero tolerance for such acts of insulting the motherland and Chinese. The motherland is so strong that this behavior should not continue to happen. It’s best not to let me encounter this kind of thing again. I will kill it if I meet it again!” he said in Chinese in the video.
@kyl_c#stopasianhate #australia #saynotoracism #melbourne #covid19♬ original sound – user4059104330504
Why this matters: A spike in anti-Asian incidents — particularly in North America — has been observed around the world since the onset of COVID-19. In the U.S., such anti-Asian sentiment has largely been attributed to former President Donald Trump, whose anti-Chinese rhetoric blamed Beijing for “unleashing” the coronavirus.
- In Australia, a study conducted by think tank Lowy Institute found that 18% of Chinese Australians were physically threatened or attacked in the past year, while 31% were called offensive names because of their Chinese heritage. Most of the respondents attributed their experiences to COVID-19 (66%), as well as tensions between the Australian and Chinese governments (52%).
- The latest report on social cohesion by the Scanlon Foundation Research Institute shows a larger percentage of Chinese Australians who suffered discrimination. In a survey conducted between May and June 2020, 52% indicated having experienced discrimination, while 41% reported that there were “more” or “much more” discrimination amid the pandemic.
- NextShark has also reported several anti-Asian incidents in Australia. These include a man telling an Asian woman to “f*ck off to China,” a couple making death threats against an elderly Asian man, and a “gang” of teens brutally attacking three Asian students — to name a few.
- “Well done, mate. I support you,” one said in the comments.
- Another wrote, “[I] can’t believe this [sign] is happening in 2021. Hope this goes viral and that the cowards responsible for this are held accountable.”
- Meanwhile, some referenced claims that the coronavirus actually originated from the U.S. “Redirect: Fort Detrick,” one wrote, citing a Maryland military base that once housed America’s biological weapons program.
Feature Image via @kyl_c