An Oregon bar owner is coming under fire from some members of his community after he allegedly hurled racist abuse at a man who complained about his bar's sign referencing the "China virus."
Local news station KOBI 5 reports that the Trophy Club Bar & Grill in Medford, Oregon until recently featured an electronic sign outside that advertised its "China virus hours," a reference to the state restrictions placed on the hours bars can open due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The sign caught the eye of Ken Narasaki, an Asian-American man who was visiting the area from Los Angeles.
He tells KOBI 5 that he called up one of the bar's owners and tried to explain to him why his sign was offensive to Asian Americans.
"When I called, he answered in a ching chong accent saying 'Hong Kong chopstick factory, why don't you suck my [expletive]," Narasaki said. "That kinda tells you all you need to know about him and whether or not it was just a joke."
Katherine Spence, a resident of nearby Ashland, Oregon who is also of Asian descent, tells KOBI 5 that she was similarly disturbed by the sign.
"It gave me like, for the first time in my entire 7 years of being here, I genuinely really felt afraid that racists were willing to be really public," she said. "They should take the signs down and they should use that marquee to apologize to the community, for sure."
KOBI 5 reports that while the bar has stopped displaying its "China virus" notice on its roadside marquee, it still has signs plastered on its doors that reference "China Virus Rules."