An Asian market trader in Wales received hate and racial discrimination after being asked by her fellow stallholders to leave over fears of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Su Chu Lu, 54, had been running her stall for 15 years when she was asked to leave by other stallholders in the Aberystwyth Market Hall, according to The Guardian. She had just returned from a trip to Taiwan.
Some of the other traders held a meeting and decided to ban Su from the market, saying that she was “putting them all at risk.”
“When I arrived at the hall and got to my own stall the man who works opposite mine immediately asked me to leave the building,” Su said. “He stressed that every member of the hall all think I must leave the building otherwise he will contact the council to force me out.”
Su was emotional and upset over the way that the traders treated her upon her return from Taiwan.
“I was really upset, it was very emotional and upsetting, and I’m angry,” she said. “There are so many cases of the virus in the rest of this world, so why did this trader target me? I have no doubt it is because of my nationality, because of my skin colour. That’s what makes me deeply unhappy about this.”
Su thought everybody assumed she came back from China, even though she went to Taiwan, which is hundreds of miles away from Wuhan, the city where the novel coronavirus originated.
“I think they assume I have gone to China but I didn’t go, and they still didn’t believe me. I don’t know if they believe me now.”
While some wanted Su out of the market hall, others rallied behind her in support. Some people even put up posters on their stalls saying, “I support Su Chu Lu.”
“I immediately gave Su Chu Lu my continued support,” jeweler David Gilbert told reporters. “This has been caused by a minority in the market hall.”
However, another stallholder, who asked not to be named, tried to justify the racist actions of other stallholders.
“If she had been to London or France and there had been an outbreak there it would have been the same,” the trader said. “It’s not something we’re all involved in, and I don’t think it was handled the best way but [it was] not ever intended to be racial.”
A now-deleted statement from the market hall’s Facebook page said any flu virus could have serious effects on some traders who have health conditions, according to the BBC.
“We cannot emphasize enough that there is nobody in the Market Hall who is racist and Su’s nationality has no bearing whatsoever on the issue. We sincerely apologize that our concern has been misunderstood,” the statement read.
Feature Image via Su Chu Lu