The Daily Dot reports that a 23-year-old Asian student was the victim of a racially charged attack on a London street due to the virus. Jonathan Mok took to Facebook to share the story. He was walking in late February when a group of four young men saw him and one man made a remark about coronavirus. Mok was shocked and confronted the man, which is when Mok was attacked. Mok has been living in London for two years as a student.
“Within 3 seconds, he was in my face, together with 3/4 other young men, and a young lady,” Mok wrote. “All of a sudden, the first punch was swung at my face and took me by surprise. When I was still shocked by the first hit, the guy delivered the second sucker punch.”
Other people on the street started to break the fight up. While bystanders attempted to calm the group down, one man told Mok, “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country,” before hitting him in the nose.
The group left before the police got there. Mok went to the hospital, where he was told that he had “suffered a few fractures” to his face and might need “reconstructive surgery to fix some of the bones.” The police have launched an investigation into finding his attackers.
In the Facebook post, Mok emphasized how racism has risen after the coronavirus outbreak. “To those people who told me that London isn’t racist, think again,” he wrote. “Racists argue that people are a certain way because of their race. But how can this argument hold when we realize that race is such a malleable concept? I have believed for long that racism is grounded in stupidity, but I realize today that to say so, is not only being kind to racists, but also gives them an excuse. Racism is not stupidity—racism is hate. Racists constantly find excuses to expound their hatred—and in this current backdrop of the coronavirus, they’ve found yet another excuse.”
Since Monday morning, Mok’s post went viral. At the time of writing this, it has garnered 65,000 reactions and 40,000 shares. Metropolitan Police have labeled the incident as a “racially aggravated assault,” according to BuzzFeed News. Investigators have been using CCTV footage to identify the men, and have issued images of four suspects to the public. No arrests have been made yet.