Chinese-Italian Man Shows He’s ‘Not a Virus’ by Giving Away Free Hugs

coronavirus

A Chinese Italian man has gone viral for creating a touching video in response to the racism and discrimination faced by many Asians around the world amid the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

In the video posted by a group called the Italian-Chinese Youth Union, Massimiliano Martigli Jiang is seen standing in a busy square in Florence, Italy wearing a blindfold and a surgical mask.

A signboard beside him reads in Italian, Chinese, and English: “I’m not a virus. I’m a human. Eradicate the prejudice.”

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“The virus that really scares us right now is not the coronavirus, but the prejudice that is in the air. Remove the coronavirus but not the people!” the group wrote in a caption, according to Radii China.

Some people posed next to Jiang to take pictures, while others chose to remove his mask and blindfold to give him a hug.

The video is a response to a series of racist and Sinophobic incidents across Italy, with reports detailing how Chinese tourists were spat on in Venice. Rome’s Santa Cecilia conservatory also banned all students of East Asian descent.

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The Italian-Chinese Youth Union was created during a period of civil unrest between the Chinese Italian workers and the Italian law enforcement four years ago, Firenze Today reported.

 

Speaking to Firenze Today, Jiang said the group is collecting money to donate suits and masks to help China.

Feature Image Screenshot via @UGIC

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