A Hmong doctor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin took to social media to share a racist comment he received while having lunch at the hospital cafeteria this week.
The resident physician, who asked his identity be kept private after removing his public post, had just lost a patient potentially to COVID-19 when the incident happened, nearly pushing him over the edge.
The incident involved an unidentified “dude” who, of all times and places, insinuated that the doctor must be eating cats — an archaic, offensive stereotype about Asians.
“Dude asked me in cafeteria what fish they got,” he wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post. “I answered, ‘It looks like salmon.’ Trying to be nice of course, and he just says, ‘Well, it ain’t cat.'”
Enraged, the doctor recalled telling the man to stop being racist before things could have escalated.
“WTF?! I was shook. Told his a** to stop being racist and walked away. My goodness,” he noted. “Lucky I’m on hospital grounds.”
As of this writing, Milwaukee has confirmed 393 cases of COVID-19. Five patients died of the disease.
Unfortunately, the county has also witnessed cases of xenophobia against Asian Americans ahead of the doctor’s encounter. In one incident, a nurse endured discriminatory remarks from patients who feared catching the coronavirus from Asian health workers.
“It’s very unfortunate. This nurse is there to help, and provide care, risking her own safety in doing so and still getting negative treatment from those carrying the stereotype about the virus,” said Shary Tran of ELEVAsian, a Milwaukee-based group that brings visibility to Asian Americans in Wisconsin, according to WISN 12 News.
The doctor ended his post in good faith, sending prayers to other Asian health professionals in these “dark times.”
“I’m trying my best y’all. I know there are more good than bad in this world. People will test it but it’s rough out here right now,” he wrote.
“My prayers to all my fellow Asian medical health professionals for what we do and have to deal with in these dark times. Stay safe everyone.”
The doctor’s post has received more than 2,000 reactions and hundreds of shares, with people sending messages of support.
“Hang in there. We will always meet morons and idiots but dont let that stop you. They’re the miserable ones with miserable thoughts who thinks [sic] they’re superior to all,” one commented.
Feature Images via Facebook