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Xenophobic posters have been circling the Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights residential area in Brooklyn since Wednesday.
The posters caught the attention of Facebook user Fern Simmons, who took to the social media platform to share the anti-Chinese rhetoric.
“Please stop the hate and racism,” she wrote in the caption. “I can’t believe this is happening in the most cosmopolitan city in America.”
It read, “Chinese are destroying Bay Ridge,” and listed some of those grievances such as “illegal home conversions,” “junk stores,” “nail salons,” “99 cent stores,” “dirty Chinese restaurants,” “bottle collecting,” and claimed COVID-19 spread was due to “Chinese immigration.”
In the next section, it wrote, “What is the resolution to this problem?” supposedly as a rhetorical question, since the bullet points underneath list more grievances to come out of the pandemic, such as “Barber shops/hair salons are closed.”
It then closed by saying how the U.S. “won” WWII and the Cold War, and listed a racist quote from Albert Einstein taken from his book “The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein.”
It stated “It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”
As the New York Times reported, Einstein had a history of racist rhetoric, and it was exposed in those travel diaries. Particularly he targetted Asians from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mainland China, Japan, and what would later be Sri Lanka.
One of those quotes said, “The Chinese are incapable of being trained to think logically and that they specifically have no talent for mathematics.”
Users have since come together to denounce the writing and flagged the attention of New York City Councilmen Justin Brannan, who wrote a statement to Facebook on Thursday.
Bay Ridge residents have been allegedly sending videos to Brannan ripping off the posters.
“The disgusting messages were aimed at our Chinese-American neighbors,” he said, adding that “Hate has no place in our community and it will not be tolerated.”
The councilman also responded to some comments asking about what was being done, where he replied that his office is in contact with the New York Police Department’s 68 Precinct and Hate Crimes Task Force to find whoever is responsible. He asked anyone with information on where some of these flyers were posted so they can “canvass for camera footage.” The email he listed for contact is [email protected]
The NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner Public Information told NextShark that “We are looking into it.”
When asked about updates, they said, “Not at this time.”
Feature Image via Google Maps