“Xenophobia is not ok!!” she wrote. “To target and discriminate against Asians is wrong!! There are Asians afraid to leave their homes! There are people who have already been hurt.” She then pointed to an incident, in particular, a video of an “older Asian man,” before declaring that “the coronavirus is not ‘the Chinese virus.’”
It’s unclear what incident Karrueche is referring to. It could be a possible hate crime that took place around March 12, where a teen ran up on an Asian man in New York City, kicked him in the back and knocked him to the ground, yelling, “Fucking Chinese coronavirus.” The teen also demanded that the man to go back to his country.
There has been an uptick in the number of xenophobic and racially-motivated attacks since the rise of coronavirus. In London, an Asian student was brutally beaten by a group of people. In Los Angeles, a 16-year-old was assaulted and bullied for being Asian. In another incident in New York City, footage shows a man spraying air freshener at a fellow Asian commuter on the subway. When other passengers asked why he was doing that, he shouted, “Because he's standing right fucking next to me. Tell him to move. Tell him to move.”
Karreuche also alludes to Donald Trump’s choice of words in describing the virus. Earlier this week, he came under fire for calling COVID-19 “the Chinese Virus” in a tweet.
“The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!” Trump tweeted on March 16.
He doubled down on his phrasing the next day, in a tweet about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “Cuomo wants ‘all states to be treated the same.’ But all states aren’t the same. Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all. New York is a very big ‘hotspot’, West Virginia has, thus far, zero cases. Andrew, keep politics out of it....” Trump has since gone on to call it the "Chinese virus" while speaking to the nation during his press conferences, and dismissed the notion that his words can be construed as racist.