Lincoln’s Asian-American community is reporting incidents of racist harassment stemming from the pandemic.
Executive Director for the city’s Asian Community & Cultural Center Sheila Vinton was on KLIN’s Road To Recovery and described one particularly vile incident reported to her.
“Recently, one of my staff members was out shopping at Target and somebody came up to her sister and sneezed in her face and then walked away laughing loudly,” said Vinton. “It’s definitely happening here in Lincoln.”
Vinton says the cultural center first started getting reports of COVID-19 related harassment since January and has been trending upward.
She said the complaints that have been reported to her fall under the category of “micro-aggressions.”
“People walking by and people making remarks about they should wear a facemask or just staring at people in an unkind way.”
Director of Lincoln Commission on Human Rights, Mindy Chipman was also a guest on Road To Recovery and says while microaggressions aren’t illegal, they do make people feel anxious and fearful.
“We’re really encouraging anyone who feels like they’ve experienced any type of harassment, racisms, microaggression, illegal discrimination all the way up to criminal activity to report that behavior,” says Chipman.
She added her organization, the cultural center, and El Centro de Las Americas have been collaborating with on various ways to combat pandemic related harassment, which has culminated in a confidential racial incident report.
Once a report is submitted, Chipman said advocates from the commission or the cultural center will guide individuals on the best course of action.
A link to the report can be found HERE