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“The painful part was hearing my 8-year-old question for the first time looking different,” Cabanilla wrote on Twitter.

“In general, Asian American people are not used to direct discrimination,” the Bellevue resident said in a recent telephone interview, noting the incident had taken his family by surprise.

“That’s when I just started raising the horn about discrimination,” Cabanilla said.

Toshiko Hasegawa, executive director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, said the discrimination has reached area schools.

And although there has been widespread concern about the economic impact of the coronavirus, many fear Asian businesses will be particularly hard hit.

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