Dear Old Blog,
On March 16, Paulist Fr. Ricky Manalo was verbally assaulted and subjected to racial slurs while walking in my beloved New York City.
Fr. Ricky writes at America Media:
I was out for an evening walk on Monday, March 16, the very first day President Trump used the term “Chinese virus” to describe the new coronavirus, Covid-19. An enormous, black pick-up truck pulled up beside me. At first, I ignored the pulsing and blaring radio that sought to defy its closed windows. The air was thick and cold. I tried to focus on my walk, but within seconds the side window lowered and, over the deafening music, a man began shouting at me, “Virus!... Asian virus!” More words followed, but they all jumbled together in seeming slow motion as my instinctive fear took over amid the racial slurs being hurled my way. At first, I froze. Then, as the man continued to taunt me, I ran into the closest shelter I could find, a nearby liquor store.
Somehow, I felt the need to justify my sudden presence to the person behind the counter, so I asked a question, one I still cannot remember. On one level, it didn’t matter what I said, as the loud music and angry voices continued to penetrate into the shop. I stood in silence for what seemed like 10 minutes, but was probably only 30 seconds. At last, the truck drove away. I began to breathe more fully. With the truck finally gone, reality set back in: I was a victim of a verbal assault and the target of racial slurs, words I never imagined would be hurled at me. ...What is happening in our country?