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In the past week or so, I have gotten many political mailings from two Republican candidates for the 14th Congressional District. In two of these mailings, the candidates refer to COVID-19 as the Chinese Coronavirus. For a few months it has been widely publicized that using this label — Chinese — when speaking of the virus has resulted in a growing number of incidents of hate crimes and violence against Asian-Americans in the United States.

The WHO has expressly stated that the virus should not be labeled by place of origin, calling it neither the Wuhan or Chinese Virus. Right now in Atlanta, markers are being placed around the city depicting Winnie the Pooh eating a bat with chopsticks, with the label “ Wuhan Virus”.

I am the mother of an Asian-American, my daughter who was adopted from China. I am fearful that this type of language incites those with racist leanings to feel justified in lashing out at Asian community members.

I strongly believe that anyone wanting to hold political office should know of this growing problem and should have every desire to protect all future constituents — this means not using language that encourages and helps to justify racially motivated violence in our state.

I have contacted the campaigns of both candidates regarding this issue and have not received a response from either of them.

I ask all of you to consider what values we want Northwest Georgia to represent in Congress, and I hope and pray that racism is not among them.

A concerned voter,

Kim Bakos

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