The San Antonio City Council on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution denouncing the use of hate speech such as the “Chinese virus” and the “Kung Fu virus” to describe the novel coronavirus. 

The two-page resolution touted City support for “all community members” and stated that “extremists are taking advantage of COVID-19 to spread their hateful ideologies, including antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, [and] Sinophobia.”

The resolution affirms the values of the city as a compassionate community that embraces diversity, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said following Thursday’s meeting. 

“We’ve seen incidents that are clearly racist in nature all around this country and we’ve even seen some incidents here,” Nirenberg said. “This is really about standing in solidarity with all the members of our community.”

Nirenberg reiterated that the resolution is simply an affirmation of the City’s stance against hate speech and does not authorize City staff to investigate users of such terms.

The Asian American Alliance of San Antonio, which comprises 24 member organizations, thanked City Council on social media for its actions.

“We are very gratified that the San Antonio City Council has taken this courageous action to denounce antisemitism, anti-Asian bigotry, and all hateful speech, violent action and the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19,” its statement said. “We encourage all municipalities in and surrounding Bexar County to take similar actions to denounce racism and bigotry against Asian Americans and Jewish Americans.”

After the meeting, Kin Yan Hui, president of the San Antonio lodge of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, told the Rivard Report he believes the unanimous passage of this anti-hate resolution by the City affirms that San Antonio has always been and will continue to be an inclusive community.

“I’m in total agreement with Councilman [Manny] Pelaez (D8) who said: ‘Not in my San Antonio’ when it came to hate and racism,” Hui said.

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Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett covers the environment, science and utilities for the San Antonio Report.