A woman has been racially abused at a bus stop in Morningside

She received verbal abuse and was spat at, with passers-by failing to intervene

TW: Racism

A woman has been racially abused at a bus stop in Morningside, with the perpetrator throwing verbal abuse and spitting at her.

Despite it being broad daylight and multiple people witnessing the incident, no one stepped in to intervene or defend the woman.

The victim told Racism Unmasked, an organisation that raises awareness on the racism that East and South East Asian presenting people in the UK face, about what happened, saying: “I finished work and was just sitting waiting for the bus with my mask on. I was just minding my own business, scrolling on my phone, and I see a guy and girl cross the road and the girl wandered over, stared at me, and sat next to me with no mask on.

“She said “you better keep your mask on, I don’t want your diseases”.

“In my head I felt calm enough to record. So I got my phone out and asked her to repeat what she said. She said something along the lines of “you should keep your mask on, you brought the disease in, I’ve had enough”.

“She walked away, then walked back and tried to spit on me. I felt so uncomfortable and I stared back at her.

“I took my mask off because I was outside, just to show her she couldn’t tell me what to do.

“A girl, maybe a couple years younger than me, was a bystander and she asked me if I was okay. I said “yeah I get this all the time, thank you for asking though”, but nobody else said anything. Two older people who were around didn’t bother saying anything and turned a blind eye to everything.”

Racism Unmasked posted about the incident on their Instagram account, including the video that the victim filmed of the perpetrator.

Sadly, incidents like this are fairly common, with a noticeable increase in racist attacks on Asian communities happening since the start of the Covid pandemic.

Last December, an Edinburgh student was physically assaulted outside the main library in a racially motivated attack.

One comment on Racism Unmasked’s Instagram post read: “I was walking home a couple of weeks back and a guy walked up to me and said “f**king ch**k” and proceeded to walk on. As it was dark and no one was around, I responded by putting my keys into my hands and continued to walk in the opposite direction. Good for her to record and show this is happening, and it’s wrong, full stop.”

The Edinburgh Tab spoke to Feiya Hu, co-founder of Racism Unmasked, about the rise in racism towards Asians in the UK: “We’re really disappointed that this incident happened, however we are not surprised. This type of verbal abuse is not uncommon and as East and Southeast Asians who have endured almost two years of heightened numbers of racial abuse and harassment, this only captures less than one per cent of what we have to go through as a community.

“This incident has caused a lot of disbelief that not only this happens in our city, but also at the inaction of passers by and bystanders who witness the incident. However sadly there’s no point in being shocked. The truth is we have to accept that this is happening every day and allies should be better equipped in being active bystanders and engaging in anti-racism conversations. Being shocked isn’t going to save someone’s life or help someone during an attack.

“If you or someone you know has been affected by racism and needs help and advice, contact our Racism Unmasked confidential support and advice chat service on Facebook messenger and we can point you in the right direction. You can also find us on our Instagram @racismunmaskededinburgh to join the community. We welcome allies and we also offer victim support.”

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