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Mayor Backus Makes Proclamation Denouncing Racism and Hate Crimes Related to COVID-19


Throughout the nation, reports of racism and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are on the rise.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, “there have been a significant number of reports of AAPI individuals being threatened and harassed,” since January 2020.  These incidents include “being told to “Go back to China,” being blamed for “bringing the virus” to the United States, being referred to with racial slurs, spat on, or physically assaulted. Statements by public officials referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” “Kung Flu” or “Wu Flu” may be exacerbating the scapegoating and targeting of the AAPI community. Meanwhile, extremists continue to spread antisemitic and xenophobic conspiracies about COVID-19, blaming Jews and China for creating, spreading, and profiting off the virus.”


At Monday’s City Council Meeting, Mayor Nancy Backus made an official proclamation denouncing “all COVID-19 related misnaming, blaming and harassment based on race, ethnicity, physical ability, socio-economic status, gender preference/sexual orientation, age, or religion.”

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Auburn proclamation to reject stigma and bias related to COVID-19 | courtesy photo, Mayor Nancy Backus

Though the city of Auburn has not seen any hate crimes or harassment specifically related to COVID-19, Mayor Backus felt it was important to reaffirm the city’s stance as an inclusive and welcoming city. “The proclamation to commit to an inclusive community and denounce hate crimes is an easy decision to make,” said Backus. “Auburn in an Inclusive City and as such, we do not support racism, harassment, or hate crimes at any time, and especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Our hope is that this is a reminder that we should support one another. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

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A social media post spreading false information shared online.

In a recent Northwest Asian Weekly article, U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is quoted as saying, “as we confront the grim realities COVID-19 is inflicting on our communities, there is no place for hate and misplaced blame. I am disturbed to hear reports of hate speech, incidents of vandalism, and even some physical attacks that wrongly and illegally target members of our Asian American community. We are working with our federal and local law enforcement partners to investigate, and if possible, prosecute these crimes. I urge those who witness or are victims to acts of hate to contact law enforcement. All of us need to stand together to say this hateful conduct is wrong and will not be tolerated.”

If you believe that you have been the victim of a hate crime, report it to local law enforcement.


Auburn Wa Police

In addition, here are other resources:

 U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington, Civil Rights complaints website:


 FBI, Seattle Field Division: (206) 622-0460; FBI Hate Crimes website and tip line:

To request a copy of the OCA guidelines, visit


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One Comment

  1. Auburn citizen Auburn citizen May 30, 2020

    Seems to me that this was a complete waste of time. While your at it you should declare our city to be one that is non cannibal and a city that will not tolerate open cannibalism. Declare our fine city to be a city that will not tollerate murder, rape, or genocide. Let people know we are intolerant of it before they start doing it.

    Is there any municipality that supports crimes against specific groups of people? This is what big government has for us? If you are looking to make a difference that improves this place take a look into the billing for water/sewer/garbage. Another agency that should have a booster shot of professionalism is the city police force. A couple of bad apples are spoiling the bunch. The lying and warrantless shake downs are a violation of our American rights and profiling individuals that ride bikes or wear backpacks as criminals is becoming more than just inconvenient to me. I dont steal, I dont litter, and I have a home so quit acting like I’m lying to you or youre “letting me go”. I didn’t do anything wrong so leave me be. I dont do that to you so dont do it to me. Neither of us has the right to.

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