People of Chinese descent ‘racially abused’ in NI over coronavirus

People of Chinese descent in Northern Ireland have been subject to racist abuse following the outbreak of the coronavirus, a UUP MLA has said.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 8:30 am
Robbie Butler

Robbie Butler, MLA for Lagan Valley, said that a secondary school student had been subject to verbal abuse regarding the virus while comments had also been directed at those of Chinese descent in shops.

He said he had been made aware of “a number of what would be best described as racist incidents”.

“In one local school a student from year 10 was subjected to verbal abuse regarding the coronavirus and it was claimed that he was also being ostracised,” he added.

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“In a number of shops comments have been directed towards those of Chinese descent to deliberately denigrate them based on the perception of race. These outburst are wrong, unjustifiable and malicious.

“Having participated in an anti-bullying event at Stormont on Friday I can only reiterate the call that bullying is wrong and racism is wrong.

“The coronavirus crisis that is ensuing in China and abroad is absolutely no excuse for random racism nor can anyone justify doing so.

“I have been in touch with the school where the allegation of racist bullying occurred and would urge parents, teachers and wider society to stamp this hatred out by calling out and challenging this ignorance.”

Pupils from 34 schools took part in the Anti-Bullying Young People’s Forum in Parliament Buildings on Friday.