Letter to the Editor | Anti-Asian discrimination soars during COVID-19 pandemic
February 20, 2021
Historically, someone is always “blamed” for diseases.
Jews were blamed for typhus and smallpox. Haitians were blamed for AIDs. The German blamed the French, who blamed the Italian, for syphilis. The Africans were blamed for Ebola. The Chinese have been blamed for COVID-19.
We should learn from the past that blaming an entire race for a disastrous disease is never the answer. It only creates more social divisions and segregations. The spread of the novel coronavirus (SARs-cov-2) has led to a significant increase in stigmatization toward “Asian-looking” people.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made racial discrimination against Asians more common. A now-deleted infographic posted by the University of California at Berkeley included “xenophobia” as one of the “normal reactions” resulting from the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “China Is The Real Sick Man of Asia.” The terms “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus” and “Kung Flu” used by the former U.S. president, Donald J. Trump, were broadcasted repeatedly on mass media.
Since the first case of COVID-19 reported in the US, hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased to approximately 100 cases per day. According to the Stop AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Hate reporting center, there were 2,583 anti-Asian incidents reported nationwide over the course of approximately five months in 2020 (from March 19 to Aug. 5) with CA being the highest. The victims include Asian American individuals and businesses.
A major cause of the increased anti-Asian hate crimes during this pandemic is prejudice towards Asians, senseless coping strategies and media biases in the U.S. Hasn’t the COVID-19 pandemic already cost multiple lives and depleted massive amount of resources, why provoke hate and discrimination? We shouldn’t need to place blame, we need to solve the problem together.
Kankanit is a freshman in ACES.