Burlington, VT – In response to a surge in racism against Asians and Pacific Islanders around the U.S., Mayor Miro Weinberger released the following statement:
“Over the last month, in the wake of the arrival of the COVID-19 coronavirus in America, there has been a rise in discrimination, harassment, and violence directed at Asians and Pacific Islanders. While we are not aware of any such incidents locally to date, Burlington’s large and growing Asian community should know that the City will do everything in its power to stop incidents like this from happening here. I want to make it clear once again that Burlington condemns racism in all of its forms, and will continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators of hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law. The COVID-19 virus threatens us all. Let’s not let racism divide us at a moment when Americans of all races and backgrounds must unite and battle this virus and its impacts together.”
If you see or experience harassment or bullying, we encourage you to report the incident to the Burlington Police Department and the Vermont Human Rights Commission. Further, the Vermont Human Rights Commission recommends taking the following actions if you witness harassment, when safe and appropriate: 1) Stand up to the perpetrator and educate them about their ignorance, 2) Support the person being harmed by acknowledging that what is happening is not right, and offer any support, 3) Record the incident, and 4) Report the incident.