Doubling down on harmful words

Published: 9/29/2020 12:30:58 PM The owners and supporters of the Huntington Country Store refuse to consider the consequences of t...

Published: 9/29/2020 12:30:58 PM

The owners and supporters of the Huntington Country Store refuse to consider the consequences of their words. “China coronavirus” positions people of Asian descent as targets of hate and violence. Responses to the Aug. 30 protest range from silence to defensiveness to attacks on individuals.

“We do not hate Asians” is a common refrain. “We are not racists.” But we don’t get to claim that we are good people when we refuse to consider something a problem, simply because we ourselves do not experience it as a problem.

Store supporters fear that public attention will bring about its financial ruin. So they do understand that words have consequences. And yet, instead of listening to concerns, they double down on the right to use harmful words. It’s now up to us, the community, to determine what consequences those words will have.

As the pandemic reveals divisions among us, it’s time to show one another our own visions of what it means to be a good person and the community we want for ourselves and our neighbors. Knowing that requests for conversation about the injustice were ignored, that the offensive language remains, that throngs of store supporters dismiss and even make a mockery of our objections, that no public apology is forthcoming, what are your reactions? What practical steps will you take?

I participated in the protest. Please join me in signing a petition at

Greta Shultz


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Newsrust: Doubling down on harmful words
Doubling down on harmful words
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