Korean Student Harassed by Racist Man on Train in Southern France

Korean Student Harassed by Racist Man on Train in Southern FranceKorean Student Harassed by Racist Man on Train in Southern France
A Korean student on a train in Nice, France documented her own racial harassment from a French man on Saturday evening.
What happened: A Korean woman, who has been working and studying in France for nearly a year, encountered a racist passenger on June 6 at 9:30 p.m. CEST.
  • The woman was riding the Nice Tram line 2 on her way home with her boyfriend when a passenger mistook her for being Chinese. 
  • The passenger started berating her with racial slurs and other insults. 
  • In the captured footage, the man said in French: “You Chinese eat dogs and cats,” and “The coronavirus came from your country.”
  • In response, the woman called him out for being racist and urged him to stop but the man kept taunting her, calling her names and insulting her boyfriend as well.
  • Shifting his attention to the boyfriend, he went on: “Are you her boyfriend? You have balls or not? Remove your mask! Nothing to say? You are a b***h. Don’t you talk?… You are a s**t.” 
  • After noticing he was being filmed, the man told her to put away her camera as it “will not change anything.”
  • He then went on to continue with a barrage of slurs as other passengers looked on.
  • “The disease came from your country,” he said. “You eat crazy things.”
  • Eventually, a male passenger confronted the racist man and told him to stop harassing the couple.  
  • The clip ended with the racist passenger threatening the woman with violence while trying to stop her from filming.
  • “You can film me. I am violent. I can even take your phone,” the man yelled at the Asian woman.
What’s behind the scenes: Since the global spread of COVID-19, there has been a significant uptick in racist attacks toward Asians around the world, including France. However, there are layers influencing the current tensions in the country that complicate race relations.
  • Over the years, anger has been mounting within France’s Black communities over police violence, systemic racism and immigration issues. 
  • The recent death of George Floyd in the U.S. has also brought to memory the case of Adama Traore, a Black Frenchman who similarly died in police custody in July 2016.
  • Following the U.S., protests have sprung all over France, with incidents of riots breaking out in some areas. 
  • In the first three months of this year, COVID-19 has plunged France into a recession as business closures and unemployment rose to unprecedented heights. 
  • French President Emmanuel Macron blasted the Chinese government’s lack of transparency in an interview with the Financial Times: “There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about.” 
  • The French media has also been criticizing the Chinese government and the way COVID-19 has spread around the globe. 
  • Le Figaro Magazine’s recent cover story “The Great Chinese Lie” featured an illustrated image of President Xi Jinping “wearing a surgical mask and wagging his finger.”
Feature Image via LilaLila 릴라릴라
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