Asian-American representative talks supporting Asian people after racist encounter

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Kansas state lawmaker is speaking out after being racially profiled in a Kansas bar.

This comes just days after six people of Asian descent were shot and killed in an Atlanta spa.

The democrat who represents Westwood, a Kansas City neighborhood, was invited to participate in a public broadcasting program in Western Kansas this past Friday. After the show was filmed, he said he went to grab a bite to eat with his colleague in the Russell area.

It was at the sports bar when a man approached him and asked what he was wearing – referring to his mask and remarked that Xu’s probably “carrying the virus.” Xu says the man making the derogatory comments even at one point threatened to assault him. He said he was thinking about his daughter when it happened, and how the situation could possibly end, if not worse.

Xu attributes the hatred to President Trump’s language, who used words like “kung-flu” when referring to COVID as the Chinese virus during the pandemic.

“I think a lot of what we’re seeing is a result of the last year of rhetoric I think the ‘China Flu’ that sort of rhetoric, conspiracy theories around coronavirus have led to this 150% increase that we’ve seen in Asian American violence,” said Rep. Xu.

The data he’s referring to is from a California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

After the incident the representative said he’s been overwhelmed with supportive messages and apologies from the people of the town. But he says there is no need to apologize for the man on behalf of the city and he in no way meant to single out to the town.

The city of Russell’s mayor issued a statement Monday night inviting him back and asking others to band against hatred toward Asian-Americans.

Xu said he heard from several people told him that man that targeted him wasn’t from their city.

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