A Sydney hotel has been slammed for displaying racist signs that also told people from Melbourne they are not welcome.
The signs, which blame China for the coronavirus, have attracted harsh criticism from locals and politicians.
Hotel slammed for racist signs
The Maroubra Junction Hotel displayed the signs on large screens inside and outside the venue.
They state “CHINESE CORONAVIRUS PLAN” across the top.
One includes a crossed-out picture of a bearded man with glasses and a ponytail with the message:
“If you are from Melbourne or look like you are, you will be asked to leave”.
Signs designed to promote social distancing
Other signs displayed at the hotel also included the phrase “CHINESE CORONAVIRUS PLAN” and “WUHAN CORONAVIRUS PLAN”.
The signs are a misguided attempt to promote social distancing in addition to hand-washing.
One also said: “You’re in this with us. Keep the grubs out”.
Social media backlash
Federal Labor MP Andrew Giles described the signs as “vile”, tweeting “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.”
He called the owner of Maroubra Junction Hotel to demand they take down the signs.
“They said they will take it down immediately, as they should,” Giles said.
“This is totally unacceptable.”
Sings ‘single out Asians’
Jason Ling, who posted the images on social media, said the issue is more than “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.”
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan suggested the signs could amount to unlawful race vilification.
“Race vilification is the incitement of hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of another person, or group of people, based on their race, by a public act,” he said.
“These signs meet the test of a public act, so if Mr Ling decided to take action, I would suggest a tribunal might rule in his favour.”
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