Local Asian Americans experience discrimination, hate crimes; some wrongly blame the community for coronavirus

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus, across the United States, and even here in the Las Vegas valley, Asian Americans have become the target of xenophobic and bigoted attacks.

Asian Americans 8 News NOW spoke with say terms like the China virus or Kung flu have been thrown around creating hate and discrimination.

Sonny Vinuya has lived in the valley for about 15 years. He says there are many reasons why Las Vegas is special to him, but the main reason is the community.

“It’s something that I was hoping that we would not experience here in Las Vegas, but there’s been a little bit more of animosity towards Asians with the spread of this virus,” said Vinuya, the president of the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce President.

According to Vinuya, Asians are being blamed for COVID-19.

“I was shopping at the Smith store for necessities, and as soon as I walk in an aisle a whole family covered their nose all of a sudden,” said Vinuya.
“My son, who was living in L.A., he’s home now, but he was told to go home. We have a member whose mother was told not to touch her groceries because she doesn’t want her germs.”

Vinuya says this kind of treatment is very disheartening and wants to let the community know Asians are not the enemy.

“We’re going through the same issue, we are fighting the same virus, and a lot of the Asians here are not only big contributors to the communtiy, but a lot are on the front lines,” Vinuya said.

During this time, Vinuya said he would like everyone to please be kind to one another while stopping the discriminatory behavior.

“Don’t let things that are happening in other cities influence our community and how we treat our Asian American population here,” Vinuya said.

Anyone who’s a victim of a hate crime, please contact Metro Police and the FBI.

The Las Vegas Asian Chamber Of Commerce is warning people about this issue through texts and phone calls. They are also working with Metro’s Spring Valley area command to report any issues.

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