In Post Falls, Idaho, a Mediterranean restaurant owner, Raci Erdem, hung a racist sign that said "Restaurants & bars don't sell Kung Flu, only happiness,” which were taken down after several requests and complaints filed by Asian advocacy groups. Erdem claims that the sign was supposed to be “funny” and their sole intentions were to spread “humor,” however the sign only furthered the hate towards the Asian community. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes against Asians have been at their peak. With signs such as the ones at the restaurant, provoking people to spread stereotypes and racism, the amount of hate crimes are only going to rise.
Racist nicknames used for COVID-19 such as “Kung Flu” were widely used by politicians, implying that Asians are to blame for the pandemic, which blazes Anti-Asian agendas. Such racist nicknames and language are only increasing dangers for the Asian community considering such stereotypes being used, only continuing to express hatred to the Asian community.
Spokane and Idaho Chinese Associations both demanded a public apology from Erdem since he can’t face any official charges for his action. The Post Falls Police Department claims that Erdem’s sign can’t be charged due to the action “fall into a gray area,” where they will be counted as “Erdem's right to freedom of speech legally allows the language since it does not incite violence.” However, the police have brought up the issue to the Post Falls City Hall where Erdem could face civil penalties for his actions.