Gold Coast barbershop defends sign on its storefront blaming ‘China virus’ for reduced opening hours

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A barber who left a sign on his storefront blaming the ‘China virus’ for his shop’s limited opening hours, defended his actions and lashed out at his critics.

Chris Manning said he did not regret pasting the message on the front of his barbershop in Nerang on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

Mr Manning told Daily Mail Australia that he was not a racist and that the sign reflected his ‘sense of humor’.

Gold Coast hairdresser Chris Manning has defended a controversial sign (above) he posted on his shop window letting customers know his opening hours had changed

Mr Manning said the sign - which blamed the reduced opening hours on 'the China virus' - reflected his 'sense of humor' and was not racist.

Mr Manning said the sign – which blamed the reduced opening hours on ‘the China virus’ – reflected his ‘sense of humor’ and was not racist.

“My clients certainly enjoy it,” he said.

‘People call and thank me for it.

“I’m not a racist, the shops around me are Asian and I get along well with everyone.”

Mr Manning said he made the poster in response to reports that US President Joe Biden would not call the coronavirus the ‘Chinese virus’, unlike its predecessor Donald Trump.

Words have consequences. It’s the coronavirus. Full stop, ” Mr Biden tweeted on March 19.

The hairdresser said he was not racist and did not understand or care about any of the online reactions to the poster.

He said he had to shorten his opening hours because his customers – mostly older men – were afraid to leave the house in case they caught Covid.

Anti-racist campaigner Erin Wen Ai Chew (pictured) said the term 'China virus' was racist

Anti-racist campaigner Erin Wen Ai Chew (pictured) said the term ‘China virus’ was racist

Anti-racist campaigner Erin Wen Ai Chew said using the term ‘China virus’ was problematic.

“When this term is used, there is a racial backlash against Asian-Australians who are believed to have a Chinese background,” said Ms. Chew, founder of the Asian Australian Alliance.

“Many non-Asians in Australia cannot tell the difference between the different and vast diversity of Asian cultures – for them, anyone who looks Asian must be Chinese and therefore responsible for the pandemic.”

The AAA launched a racism reporting tool in April last year and has recorded 515 incidents, including the ‘China virus’ and the ‘Chinese virus’ yelled at people while in public.

“Using terms that incite racism and hatred is not about impeding freedom of speech or being a PC, it’s about knowing the limitations and not inciting hatred,” she said.

“Mr. Manning has probably never experienced and will not experience racism, so it’s easy for him to make excuses for his ignorance.”

The words 'F ** k Off Back to China' were found in the suburb of Beaconsfield, Sydney

The words ‘F ** k Off Back to China’ were found in the suburb of Beaconsfield, Sydney

Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in anti-Asian racist attacks in Australia.

A survey from the Australian National University found that four in five Asian-Australians had faced racism since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vietnamese-Australian writer Alyssa Ho hit a racist message in a concrete walkway in downtown Sydney earlier this month.

In March of this year, a young pregnant couple in Perth was called n * ps and g ** ks while awaiting an ultrasound.

Two international students were beaten in a racist attack in Melbourne and two sisters in Sydney were spat out and told they were carriers of the corona virus last year.

Writer Alyssa Ho (pictured) shared the photo of the racist slur with her Instagram followers

Writer Alyssa Ho (pictured) shared the photo of the racist slur with her Instagram followers

A survey from the Australian National University found that 84.5 percent of Australians of Asian background experienced Covid-19-related discrimination in 2020.

“We know that unfortunately many Asian-Australians still face discrimination on a daily basis,” said the director of the investigation, Mr Jieh-Yung Lo.

In our survey last year, about 15 percent of Australians identified as Asian-Australian. The research shows that Asiatic Australians play a critical role in the success of our society and nation.

‘They have been a pillar of our society for generations. We have to do better; we can do better. ‘

Jamie Shin and his partner (pictured) were racially abused while waiting for an ultrasound

Jamie Shin and his partner (pictured) were racially abused while waiting for an ultrasound

Anti-discrimination NSW said they had received 241 complaints between January and April 2021, and said 62 were based on race.

Reasons included abused, spat on in public, harassed for wearing a face mask and smashing their car windows.

There is a spate of murders of Asian women and bashings of Asians in the United States of America, believed to be racially motivated.

Nearly four thousand incidents of racist attacks against Asians, mostly women, were reported in the past year by the US reporting forum ‘Stop AAPI hate’.

This includes the murder of six Asian women in Atlanta, USA, and numerous brutal bashings of women – including the elderly – videotaped in public areas.