(BALTIMORE, MD, 7/29/20) – The Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded public pressure that forced the Baltimore Blast soccer team to alter a racist t-shirt that was previously available for purchase on the team’s official online store.
SEE: Baltimore Blast alters racist shirt on online store after facing backlash
On one side, the shirt displayed an American flag with the team’s logo and the word “strong” emblazoned on it. The other side of the shirt featured a large map of China with “CHINA” printed over it in bold letters, which was crossed out. It has been available for sale since March but went largely unnoticed until a tweet on social media started gaining traction and led to people criticizing the xenophobic and racist tone of the messaging.
“As anti-Asian attacks continue to rise, we need to educate ourselves and one another and remain vigilant about not promoting language or actions that can contribute to stereotyping, racism or hate crimes,” said CAIR’s Media and Public Relations Intern in Maryland Yasmeen El-Koshairi. “Our words matter. They can have harmful consequences, and it is irresponsible to consciously stoke anti-Asian sentiment especially for profit. We are glad the offensive messaging has been removed.”
The civil rights organization noted previous cases of coronavirus-related hate crimes in Brooklyn, NY fueled by anti-Asian sentiment that involved an alleged theft and assault on an Asian-American woman and an alleged assault of an Asian-American man.
SEE: CAIR-NY Condemns More Anti-Asian Coronavirus-Related Hate Crimes, Welcomes NY Attorney General Launch of Hate Crimes Hotline
According to police, an Asian-American woman was assaulted by a suspect who allegedly yelled “Go back to China” and “You are dirty, get your temperature checked,” before he attempted to punch the victim.
In another case, an Asian-American male was threatened and blamed for the coronavirus by a suspect who approached the victim and stated, “You f—ing Chinese, spreading the coronavirus” and “You people got the virus” before proceeding to spit in the victim’s face and mimicking holding a gun.
SEE: Asian man waiting for NYC subway spit on, threatened in coronavirus hate crime
Asian woman spat on, assaulted in Manhattan hate crime
In the past, CAIR has condemned President Trump’s racist “Chinese virus” tweets.
SEE: CAIR Condemns Trump’s Use of Racist Dog Whistle ‘Chinese Virus’
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR Office in Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-971-6062; CAIR Media and PR Intern Yasmeen El-Koshairi, email@example.com