Words Matter

Meanwhile, here’s a report from America’s nicest state:

A door-to-door COVID-19 testing survey has been halted due to multiple incidents in greater Minnesota of residents intimidating and shouting racial and ethnic slurs at state and federal public health survey teams. . . .

Insults came at doorways, from angry people approaching the surveyors or just people walking their dogs on the other sides of the streets, said Stephanie Yendell, a state senior epidemiology supervisor. . . .

The frequency of problems became clear last weekend when surveyors discussed their experiences, Yendell said. A Hispanic surveyor was called one slur “more in the last week than in her entire life,” she said.

Most people were polite in all areas of the state, but there were “several” incidents and “a pattern emerged,” said Dan Huff, assistant state health commissioner. The state ended the survey rather than continuing without the CDC workers, or sending only white surveyors in largely white rural communities.

“We found that our white teams had a very different experience, a much more positive experience, but I think from our perspective it’s ridiculous for us to contemplate that,” he said. “We choose who is doing this survey on their professional qualifications.”

Minnesota was the only state to vote Democratic in 1984, and one of only 2 midwestern states to do so in 2016.

America’s always had a fair number of racists, but Trump’s really made these people comfortable in expressing their actual beliefs about East Asians.

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