A man of Chinese descent has been targeted in a potential hate speech attack after racists sprawled “China Virus” in his front lawn using what he believes to be some type of fertilizer.
David Chao described to ABC 6 News what happened at his home in Austin, Minnesota as “dehumanizing and demeaning.”
“It’s just an awful thing to see, to experience, let alone the issue that my heritage is Chinese. I’m not full Chinese. There are some people who know it, but they wouldn’t know that,” Chao said.
The surveillance camera he installed following the incident also captured two people stealing political signs from his property.
For Chao, however, this is a recurring experience. He said he is already used to this type of encounter as he had experienced vandals leaving racial slurs on his yard for years.
Chao said it is still “extremely hurtful.”
“You go through an issue of pain and anger and then you just realize there’s not much to be done other than you need to let it grow back and continue on,” he said. “Unfortunately, whatever was used burned the lawn so this particular scar is going to last for a while.”
Chao said he planted grass seeds on top as a way to hide the racial slur, but the message will remain on his front lawn until next year once the grass starts to grow.
While Chao never reported the vandalism to the police due to the lack of leads on the incident, he did report the theft from his property. No hate crime investigation has been launched for the case so far and police said they never had any similar instances of hate speech when the COVID-19 pandemic started.