A Sydney pub is facing backlash for displaying ‘racist’ signs that told Melburnians they were not welcome and blamed Chinese people for starting the coronavirus.
One of the most widely shared images is of a large screen outside the Maroubra Junction Hotel that has the phrase “CHINESE CORONAVIRUS PLAN” across the top.
A crossed-out picture of a bearded man with glasses and a ponytail appears next to the message “If you are from Melbourne or look like you are, you will be asked to leave”.
Federal Labor MP Andrew Giles described the sign as “vile”, saying in a tweet that “there’s never any excuse for racism”.
“Now, it’s especially important that we reject that forces of hate and division that are attacking our social cohesion and diminishing us all,” Mr Giles wrote.
He said he had contacted the owner of Maroubra Junction Hotel and demanded they take down the signs.
“They said they will take it down immediately, as they should,” Mr Giles said.
“This is totally unacceptable.”
The phrases “CHINESE CORONAVIRUS PLAN” and “WUHAN CORONAVIRUS PLAN” were plastered on multiple other signs about social distancing and hand-washing.
One sign said: “You’re in this with us. Keep the grubs out”.
Jason Ling, who posted one of the images on Facebook, said the issue was not about the “casual racism of Melburnians”.
“It’s about the divisive language used to single out Asians. Why not use official designation of COVID-19? This pandemic has spread beyond China,” Mr Ling wrote.
One Twitter user wrote: “Does the use of the word Chinese breach racial vilification law? Leaving aside matters such as common decency and truth, it might be illegal.”
The New Daily has contacted the Maroubra Junction Hotel for comment.