"Take your fucking Coronavirus back home"
A British Indian woman was hospitalised by a man who told her British born Chinese female friend in Birmingham to take her “fucking Coronavirus back home”.
The 29-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, was celebrating her birthday with her female friends at Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery on 8 February when a group of South Asian men began harassing her and her friends.
One of the men took issue with the racial diversity in the lawyer-in-training’s group of friends. “From his comments it was evident he was annoyed that I, an Indian girl, was out drinking with a group of non-Indian people,” the woman said. “He even tried to spit on my friend who came over to help me get away from him.”
Upon leaving the bar, the aggressive man followed them outside and started to racially abuse the woman’s British born Chinese female friend.
“He began shouting at her and called her a ‘dirty chink’ and said ‘take your fucking corona virus back home’”, the woman explained. “He became more aggressive and was edging close to us.”
In an attempt to defend her friend, the woman stepped in to intervene. “I was so shocked and horrified by his aggressive behaviour and horrific words and shouted for him to stop and tried to push him away,” she said.
The man then physically attacked the woman and continued to verbally assault her female friends. “He then punched me in the head, knocking me out and I fell onto the ground onto my head,” she recalled. “As I lay unconscious he continued to threaten my friends and abuse them before walking away calmly with his group of friends who did nothing to stop him or help me.”
After spending six hours in A&E, the woman was diagnosed with a concussion and was forced to take a week off work.
Reflecting on the incident, the woman said she is shocked at the racist abuse Chinese people are suffering as a result of the Coronavirus.
“Evidently his entire behaviour is shocking and unforgivable, but in light of what is going on right now it is also important to highlight the ease at which racist slurs are being thrown at people who are Chinese/ look Chinese,” she said.
“I do not regret sticking up for my friend, nor do I think me or my friends could have done anything differently. For whatever reason that man was looking to pick a fight with me and my friends.”
Whilst she considers herself lucky for not suffering anything more than a concussion, the woman said she shouldn’t have to be faced with such a situation.
“What happened to me is purely a direct result of the shocking behaviour of somebody else, but sadly it is a reminder of how vulnerable we all can be,” she said. “I know that although this story is bad, it could have had a much darker ending, but I shouldn’t have to count myself ‘lucky’ for not suffering a more damaging injury or death.”
“Sadly, it isn’t uncommon for girls to face some sort of harassment when they go out.”
She added that she hopes people will continue to speak out about these incidents. “I also want to encourage everyone to be careful and speak out if anything like this happens or you are abused in any way. Or if you are thinking of abusing, stereotyping or insulting anyone understand how damaging your actions can be.”
“Abuse, racial slurs and violence is never ok. You shouldn’t have to condone or endure it.”
The assailant has been described as a fat 6ft South Indian man with a stubble in his 30s or early 40s. He was wearing a grey flat cap, black North Face sleeveless gilet, a black Nike hoody.
If you have any information about the incident, please contact West Midlands Police on 0121 626 5000.
The death toll from the Coronavirus currently stands at 1,868, with 72,436 confirmed cases globally.
In a related incident, an Asian recently became the first victim of a Coronavirus-related attack in London.