posts 1 - 15 of 33
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 221

Readings and Watchings:

Note: It’s important that you read and/or watch at least FOUR (4) of the 8 items listed below AND clearly reference them in your post. These are listed in chronological order; I would especially urge you to include within your choices #4 from Human Rights Watch (HRW).


  1. Video from the Los Angeles Times: Epidemic of Hate: Asian Xenophobia and Coronavirus, February 3, 2020 [7:55] https://youtu.be/7nlenypkMww and the accompanying article Suhuana Hassan, “Fear of coronavirus fuels racist sentiment targeting Asians, Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2020. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4iu--gthgMAwX2iuQdjeCkrGDwqvmTx/view?usp=sharing

  1. Ivan Natividad, “Coronavirus: Fear of Asians rooted in long American history of prejudicial policies,” Berkeley News, February 12, 2020

https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/02/12/coronavirus-fear-of-asians-rooted-in-long-american-history-of-prejudicial-policies/


  1. Stephanie Garcia, “’I am not a Virus’: How This Artist is Illustrating Coronavirus-Fueled Racism,” PBS, April 1, 2020. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/i-am-not-a-virus-how-this-artist-is-illustrating-coronavirus-fueled-racism

  1. “Covid 19 fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” Human Rights Watch, May 12, 2020.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/12/covid-19-fueling-anti-asian-racism-and-xenophobia-worldwide


  1. Anna Purna Kambhampaty and Haruka Sakaguchi, “’I Will Not Stand Silent.’ 10 Asian-Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality.” Time, June 25, 2020.

https://time.com/5858649/racism-coronavirus/


  1. Article and video: Erin Donaghue, “2,120 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans Reported During Coronavirus Pandemic,” CBS News, July 2, 2020 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anti-asian-american-hate-incidents-up-racism/

  1. Sarah Li, “Anti-Asian Hate Has Surged during the Coronavirus Pandemic, Reports Find,”

Teen Vogue, September 18, 2020.

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/anti-asian-racism-stop-aapi-hate


  1. Felix Sitthivong, “Coronavirus has sparked another epidemic in my prison: Anti-Asian Racism,” The Marshall Project, December 3, 2020. https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/12/03/coronavirus-has-sparked-another-epidemic-in-my-prison-anti-asian-racism

__________________________________________________________________________

The President repeatedly refers to it as the “China virus” or the “Asian flu.” Insofar as we first became aware of a COVID-19 in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, that association has regrettably stuck for many Americans. And what it has unleashed, not only in the United States but in far-flung places around the world, is anti-Chinese vitriol and, because of the long history of Asian interchangeability by non-Asians, anti-Asian views more broadly.


Xenophobia directed at Asians isn’t new, as we will see this week in class. What COVID has inspired is just the latest in a long history of anti-Asian hate.


The Asian population in the United States, according to the US Census (as of 2018), as of, is believed to number 22.6 million people, roughly 5.6% of the total population in the nation. According to the Pew Research Center, Asian-Americans constitute the “highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.”


So many non-Asians can’t distinguish among Asians—witness Valerie Soh’s keenly observed short All Orientals Look the Same [pointedly using the pejorative term, “Orientals”] so they lump Asians all together. Not unlike the Native American voices we heard in December who wish that we would identify Native peoples by their tribes and not label them all “native” or “indigenous,” many Asians too wish people would acknowledge their specific places of origin, their differing circumstances, cultures, and histories, and not simply assume that “sameness.” Yet we know that this is not the reality in the United States of 2021.


So why the hate? And why is this hate not new but is based in a long history of anti-Asian discrimination? And why are most non-Asians—and some Asians--minimally aware of this history?


Maybe those are foolish questions. What we know from our work on discrimination and othering thus far is that issues of “us” and “them,” “superiority” and “inferiority,” the desire to identify an “in group” and an “out group” govern much of human interaction.


So how have Asians—who we already know are classified as “white” when it’s convenient (think of the example of the Boston School Committee) and are also classified as “other” or “POC”—confronted this othering? The latest version may be triggered by COVID but we know this has a long and sordid history. How does this relate to what we saw with Executive Order 9066 (in the film Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 that you watched for Tuesday/Wednesday class)? And what should non-Asians do today to be allies in response to what these articles, the film, and the video clips chronicle?


Please weigh in on these questions in a thoughtful, well-supported post, supported by what you learned from class, from the readings and from what you know from your own experiences. And please do post a question for the next person to post (and respond to the question posed prior to your posting!).


Heyo8
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

we are doomed to repeat history if nothing changes

As an Asian American myself, “anger” and “fear” are some of the first words to come to mind when I think of this past year. Like the thirteen year old who feared to let their grandparents out in fear of them facing harassment or any form of abuse in the TeenVogue article, I also feared for my family members. During the height of the crisis, my social media was full of videos of xenophobic hate crimes. Southeast Asians being called “Chinese”, Asian American businesses being vandalized, and physical and verbal abuse towards Asians. I was not allowed to go out to play at my local park by my parents out of fear of abuse from my others, not the virus itself. The media’s use of “China virus” and justifying its name by saying it did come from China despite harsh push back, angered me beyond measure and brought front and center this country’s ignorance and racism.


Arguably the most infamous character of 2020, only made it worse. Donald Trump’s consistent public attacks on China made it seem justifiable to turn the world on Asians. This couldn’t help but remind me of the Executive Order 9066 that fueled xenophobia and physically separated Asian Americans for no real cause except unjustified fear. Though Donald Trump did not sign an order to divide Asian Americans, he helped create an environment of where it was seen as justifiable. I support the Black Lives Matter movement fully, but one of the most over shadowed acts of racism was the xenophobic attacks towards Asian Americans. Though I recognize not everyone is like this and a small group of people do not represent a whole race, it seemed like no matter what race they were, everyone seemed to turn against Asian Americans and not enough media coverage was giving it attention. The fear of a virus that has been called many different names to blame China has been one of most infamous acts of racism this past year.


The rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Asians across the world is a testament to how much this world still has to learn about racism. In the “Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide” article, it stated that there has been a rise not only in the United States but world wide. Leaders across the world need to step up and address this issue and attack it in an effective manner. In the US, this has been especially slow. Donald Trump’s presidency has done nothing but fuel the crimes against Asian Americans. In order to be an ally, people need to help step up and address these issues. When hate crimes are being done, bystanders should become heros. Protect the victims. As with any hate crime, it is emotionally and sometimes physically scarring. Educate yourself. Not only about the virus but about different Asian cultures in general. One of the most ignorant things that's happened in 2020, is the grouping of all Asians into the umbrella term, “Chinese”. This deeply rooted form of racism is an ugly mark on this society.


My question is: What, in your opinion, should be done in school environments to support and protect Asian American students? I feel as though they’re the ones who suffer the most out of all age groups and should be helped because this is emotionally scarring.

SleezMoth
boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 22

Asian Americans in America

Anti-Asian racism started to gain a lot of traction in World War II where America joined due to pearl harbor being bombed by the Japanese air force. To get as many people on board the war as possible, anti-Japanese, many times just being anti-Asian, rhetoric and propaganda started being spread. Towards the end of the war many were convinced that the Japanese were subhuman, or at least unimportant to the point of firing off the first two nuclear bombs, killing millions, as well as instating Japanese internment camps to "reeducate" the Japanese, and make sure they weren't spies. In addition to this the war in Vietnam was also coupled with propaganda and racist consequences. The specific history of the propaganda and the dehumanization of the Japanese ethnicity, as well as the entire east Asian race, has been swept under the carpet by America so many don't realize it still holds influence on today's society. I've seen Asian-targeted racism given a free pass because it is not as cracked down upon as African American targeted racism first hand, and throughout media I've seen more Asian jokes than I've seen almost any other race. There is so little done about it through movements or media because it is mostly passive racism that does not get publicized, and therefore does not seem as prevalent as it is.


In recent years the violent crimes targeted against Asian Americans has increased, possibly due to our soon to be former president, who has given a safe space to express racist beliefs. Many white Americans are now caught in an echo chamber of racism and harbor their hate for other races. Due to the normalization and hushing down on racism against Asian Americans, many racists have been able to take malicious action without news coverage or persecution.


The two steps to becoming an ally to the fight against racism is to first become as non racist as possible. Educate yourself in what has occurred in history and think deeply about any prejudices that you might feel or have towards other races. Acknowledge that everyone will have built in ideas based on race that are hard to undo but should be thought about and considered. This is were many people who claim activism or who claim they are an ally will stop. Becoming non racist is a goal that everyone should one day meet, and how to get there is allies need to become anti racist. Hearing a friend make a joke about Asians and realizing it is wrong is a very good start, but not calling him out on it was a mistake. It is not enough to self evaluate and help yourself learn. Normalize standing against racism when you see it and not just knowing it is wrong.


My question is: do you think that any time soon racism against Asian Americans will begin to be publicized more openly? Why do you think that even now with rising hate crime numbers there is still very little news coverage?

SleezMoth
boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 22

Originally posted by Heyo8 on January 12, 2021 13:07

As an Asian American myself, “anger” and “fear” are some of the first words to come to mind when I think of this past year. Like the thirteen year old who feared to let their grandparents out in fear of them facing harassment or any form of abuse in the TeenVogue article, I also feared for my family members. During the height of the crisis, my social media was full of videos of xenophobic hate crimes. Southeast Asians being called “Chinese”, Asian American businesses being vandalized, and physical and verbal abuse towards Asians. I was not allowed to go out to play at my local park by my parents out of fear of abuse from my others, not the virus itself. The media’s use of “China virus” and justifying its name by saying it did come from China despite harsh push back, angered me beyond measure and brought front and center this country’s ignorance and racism.


Arguably the most infamous character of 2020, only made it worse. Donald Trump’s consistent public attacks on China made it seem justifiable to turn the world on Asians. This couldn’t help but remind me of the Executive Order 9066 that fueled xenophobia and physically separated Asian Americans for no real cause except unjustified fear. Though Donald Trump did not sign an order to divide Asian Americans, he helped create an environment of where it was seen as justifiable. I support the Black Lives Matter movement fully, but one of the most over shadowed acts of racism was the xenophobic attacks towards Asian Americans. Though I recognize not everyone is like this and a small group of people do not represent a whole race, it seemed like no matter what race they were, everyone seemed to turn against Asian Americans and not enough media coverage was giving it attention. The fear of a virus that has been called many different names to blame China has been one of most infamous acts of racism this past year.


The rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Asians across the world is a testament to how much this world still has to learn about racism. In the “Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide” article, it stated that there has been a rise not only in the United States but world wide. Leaders across the world need to step up and address this issue and attack it in an effective manner. In the US, this has been especially slow. Donald Trump’s presidency has done nothing but fuel the crimes against Asian Americans. In order to be an ally, people need to help step up and address these issues. When hate crimes are being done, bystanders should become heros. Protect the victims. As with any hate crime, it is emotionally and sometimes physically scarring. Educate yourself. Not only about the virus but about different Asian cultures in general. One of the most ignorant things that's happened in 2020, is the grouping of all Asians into the umbrella term, “Chinese”. This deeply rooted form of racism is an ugly mark on this society.


My question is: What, in your opinion, should be done in school environments to support and protect Asian American students? I feel as though they’re the ones who suffer the most out of all age groups and should be helped because this is emotionally scarring.

To answer the question above I believe that racism against East-Asian people among students is rarley ever reported due to it being close to normalized. I think that there should be more education given on anti-Asian racism earlier on which hopefully would cause more to call out in school racism when it happens.

dewdropdoll
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 24

"It's just a joke get over it"

“‘It’s more like a feeling that you recognize when you are used to being subjected to racism, which is glances and people moving away,’ Sjöblom said. ‘You’re very conscious about yourself and if you cough and you feel really surveillanced’” (Stephanie Garcia, “’I am not a Virus’: How This Artist is Illustrating Coronavirus-Fueled Racism,” PBS, April 1, 2020).


What Sjöblom says in this quote describes my exact feelings when it comes to racism towards Asian Americans, especially back in January/February when there was news of a novel coronavirus that has appeared in Wuhan. I saw a lot of social media posts of hate crimes towards Asians, especially one video in particular of an elderly Asian man who was robbed and assaulted by a group of men, who attacked him for no reason except for the fact that he was Chinese. I remember being afraid that my own grandma or parents would go out and come back home injured because they were attacked by people who think that targeting Asians is the solution to their problems. Reading the article titled “Coronavirus has sparked another epidemic in my prison: Anti-Asian Racism”, puts into perspective for me how universal these feelings I had were among many other Asian Americans, and it’s sad that we all feared that our families would be the next victims of assault. Sjöblom’s drawing of an Asian girl being told to get off the bus because she was Asian reminds me of my own experience on the train, where people would avoid sitting near me because I was wearing a mask (this was back when people were not told to wear masks yet) and the fact that I was Asian. It’s a feeling that makes you feel like you’re unwelcomed, and this was also mentioned in “’I Will Not Stand Silent.’ 10 Asian-Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality” that even wearing a face mask could provoke an attack. Although my experience did not lead to anything severe, it was still an unpleasant experience.


In the film that we watched about Executive Order 9066, we saw that propaganda and hateful speech spread because of government officials who claimed that there were Japanese spies in America, and therefore spread this nationwide fear of Japanese people. As mentioned in “Covid 19 fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” there were several examples of government officials and politicians across the world who mocked and ridiculed Asians, and most notably, from President Trump, who called COVID the “Chinese virus” or “Kung flu”. Like @Heyo8 mentioned, these officials who publicly said these words allowed for people to justify their racist actions against Asian Americans, and it’s sad to see that nothing has really changed since Executive Order 9066. There were many Asian Americans and news outlets that did speak up on these issues of xenophobia against Asians, but it seems as though after a few months, people just forgot about it, despite it still happening. It’s also so normalized that people generally disregard it as a joke whenever Asian Americans do call out racism, especially on social media, where people comment things like “oh you just can’t take a joke”.


I feel like non-Asians could be allies by really educating and reflecting on the many things that they may have witnessed or said themselves that are actually really offensive towards Asians. So many people find mocking someone’s broken English or saying things that “sound” like languages spoken in Asia as comedic. I remember being constantly asked what “ching chong makahiya” meant when I was younger, and perhaps they had asked because they were naive and genuinely thought it meant something in Chinese, but it doesn’t and it is indeed offensive and racist. So, reflect on what you used to believe or what you still do believe, and be open minded about these issues. It is not your place to determine whether or not something is a joke because if the joke mocks and offends a whole group of people, I don’t think it can be considered a joke.


As for @Sleezmoth’s question about whether or not racism against Asian Americans will begin to be publicized, and why there is still so little coverage on it, I personally think that it will not be publicized that much because it is so normalized. Like I mentioned before, racism against Asian Americans is often played off as a joke and invalidated because of that, and not many people are willing to listen to people who speak out about the issues. Though, I hope that changes in the future.


My question is: do you think that these harmful stereotypes come from lack of knowledge of Asians and the many cultures within Asia? If so, do you think that changing the school’s curriculum to have more Asian representation would help combat this?

berry
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

Normalized racism towards Asians

I noticed a pattern in all of the articles in that they all relate to the coronavirus and how that has fueled more racism and hate crimes toward Asians. In “Fear of coronavirus fuels racist sentiment targeting Asians” by the Los Angeles Times, 26-year-old Katherine Lu says, “The coronavirus is an opportunity for them to safely express their racist thoughts in a way that can be excused.” I think she summed it up perfectly. People feel that it’s alright for them to make racist remarks, even the President of the United States. Donald Trump has openly made racist remarks about Asians, calling the coronavirus “Kung Flu” or “Chinese Virus”. As if us being #1 in COVID cases and deaths, isn’t a large part of his doing. I think more people feel enabled to make racist sentiments because they saw the President doing it. We can see examples of the rise of it in Erin Donaghue’s article, “2,120 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans Reported During Coronavirus Pandemic”. In the article, Donaghue discusses that over 2,100 anti-Asian American hate incidents have happened over the course of just 3 months between March and June. A majority of the incidents were related to China and the coronavirus. These kinds of incidents are happening not only in the United States but in other countries such as the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, France, and more. But even before the coronavirus, racism against Asians was something that was/is normalized.


There is a deep history of racism against Asian Americans in the United States dating back to the 19th century. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law in the US that prohibited immigration based on race. Another example was the Executive Order 9066 which was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt, which was created to remove and incarcerate Japanese and Japanese Americans. I had no knowledge of these moments in our history until recently. The schools I’ve attended never taught the students about these dark moments in our country’s history. We learn the same information over and over again. I’ve been blessed to attend BLS, where some of my teachers have taught me about these topics that seem to be excluded from our textbooks. Most likely because the US is ashamed of its past and wants to seem like it’s always been a great country. Like many other issues, one of the best ways that we can help is to educate ourselves, even though schools should be doing that nation-wide. Also if we see an act of racism or hate happening whether it’s online or in person, we shouldn’t stand by and watch. We need to better educate ourselves and be conscious of how we think of others.


To answer @dewdropdoll’s question, I think these stereotypes do come from a lack of knowledge about the different cultures and subcultures in Asia. I 100% think that if school-wide curriculums included more Asian representation, and even other groups of people, that it would help. Learning the history and culture of others besides white people, would allow young kids and teenagers to understand the misconceptions and stereotypes that have been/are hurtful to many people.


My question for the next person is, do you think because of Donald Trump people have been more xenophobic toward Asians in the last 4 years, or has it always been at this level?

plaidplatypus
Boston, Ma, US
Posts: 22

Historic Racism Toward Asians

Something I think about when I think about anti-Asian racism is comparing Japanese internment camps to how Italian prisoners of war were treated. My mom and grandmother have told me stories about how during WW2, every sunday night the prisoners of war would go to people’s houses and have dinner, then they would have dances with the prisoners of war. Meanwhile American citizens were locked up and isolated illegally because of their race. I always think of this and how it shows the double standard applied. Foreign prisoners being treated better than American citizens because they were white.

In 2020 we saw a rise of anti-racism due to COVID, although we all know COVID has nothing to do with race. In march, before everything closed down my family went to Dim Sum in Chinatown, and it was basically deserted. Economically, Asian owned businesses have been hit harder by the pandemic due to the rise in anti-Asian racism and people not wanting to go to Asian owned restaurants. In the Time article where people shared their experiences with anti-Asian racism during the pandemic, the one that stood out to me was Douglas Kim’s, who owns a Michelin-star restaurant. Not only was his restaurant vandalized, but he also had to shut it down due to fear that his employees would be attacked on public transportation on their way to work. The fact that people are too scared to go to work is awful and shows that we haven’t made much progress in the last century.

I think that just like with any other type of racism, the best thing to combat anti-Asian racism is education. People are less likely to other people if they know more about them and their culture. In school we often talk about discrimanation faced by African-Americans but we don’t talk as much about the marginalization of other groups whose experiences are just as important. The media often doesn’t focus on the stories of Asian people being attacked because of their race, which leaves many people ignorant of the racism they face.

In response to @berry’s question I think that it was a problem, but like a lot of other things Trump has made it worse by making more socially acceptable to express xenophobic views toward Asians

My question is do you think that COVID related racism will spark a conversation around anti-Asian racism and lead to progress?

slothman
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 23

Blaming others is never going to solve anything

When coronavirus first was announced, everyone knew it was from China, specifically Wuhan. Were people all around the world upset that this virus erupted? Yes, of course, they were, and by watching these clips and reading these articles, that hate is still present. There is a clear difference between Asian people and Chinese people from Wuhan. Though of course, it was not the people's fault that this virus came up, it was spread from Wuhan, and the original rules put in place there were not valid and right. But going back to my difference, let me know how Asian Americans, the 22.6 million living in our country, are at fault for this virus. Logically, they had zero influence or connection to the virus, but the American people seem to not react to that rationale. For example, as shown in source #6, 2,120 hate incidents against Asian Americans have been reported since this pandemic emerged. That is immoral to huge standards and gives me an awful sense of where our country is headed. There is a huge notion that in America, nothing is our fault, and because of that, Americans always need someone to blame. Though in many instances and this one, in particular, there are no people to blame. It is sad to see, America, a country of such a diverse population, inciting hate comments to our very own.

As shown in the first video, people don't think this will just stop soon either, the more people die, the more hate will be going to the Asian American population. And also through the video, you see that it's not just commenting, but real violence, people dying. You can't solve a virus by killing innocent people. The government should always be one to fix these problems, and though Trump did at one point tweet about this, he is a hypocrite himself by calling COVID, "Chinese Virus or "Kung-flu" just eggs on and encourages those to hate.

What's sad is that it's not even just in America, but also in city hubs like the UK, Australia, and South Africa. Article 4 is a big eye-opener to see what's really going on, here and around the world. "The UN committee responsible for monitoring compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which 182 countries have ratified, has recommended that governments adopt “national action plans against racial discrimination.” is something that was said during the article, and makes me upset because I never caught any word that any sort of plan against this discrimination, and with this being such a prominent issue with zero logic, why isn't it in place already??

The stories that people have about this is unsettling, the extent to which strangers go to make Asian Americans feel a burden and a disease. For example, in article 5, the story from Justin Tsui is just scary. The part that disturbs me the most, however, is that Justin himself is a nurse, curing the helping tons of American people every day, and instead, he is being blamed for a disease that he had nothing to do with, and it's happening to him just because of what he looks like.

For what to do, there are multiple websites that can provide help and forms to which you can report incidents as such. The community here I think is more of the most important things, but just Asian Americans as a community, but Americans as a community, well the logical ones at least. When those who hate to see that they are the ones "out of place", I hope they will cease. The government doing something would also be a great help, and could fix several of these issues.

My Question: Teenagers and Young Adults who are Asian American are often the culprits of these hate remarks, even in school. My question is, what should the school and colleges do to prepare and deal with this ongoing hatred? How will they protect their students?

slothman
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 23

Response to question

Originally posted by plaidplatypus on January 14, 2021 13:37

Something I think about when I think about anti-Asian racism is comparing Japanese internment camps to how Italian prisoners of war were treated. My mom and grandmother have told me stories about how during WW2, every sunday night the prisoners of war would go to people’s houses and have dinner, then they would have dances with the prisoners of war. Meanwhile American citizens were locked up and isolated illegally because of their race. I always think of this and how it shows the double standard applied. Foreign prisoners being treated better than American citizens because they were white.

In 2020 we saw a rise of anti-racism due to COVID, although we all know COVID has nothing to do with race. In march, before everything closed down my family went to Dim Sum in Chinatown, and it was basically deserted. Economically, Asian owned businesses have been hit harder by the pandemic due to the rise in anti-Asian racism and people not wanting to go to Asian owned restaurants. In the Time article where people shared their experiences with anti-Asian racism during the pandemic, the one that stood out to me was Douglas Kim’s, who owns a Michelin-star restaurant. Not only was his restaurant vandalized, but he also had to shut it down due to fear that his employees would be attacked on public transportation on their way to work. The fact that people are too scared to go to work is awful and shows that we haven’t made much progress in the last century.

I think that just like with any other type of racism, the best thing to combat anti-Asian racism is education. People are less likely to other people if they know more about them and their culture. In school we often talk about discrimanation faced by African-Americans but we don’t talk as much about the marginalization of other groups whose experiences are just as important. The media often doesn’t focus on the stories of Asian people being attacked because of their race, which leaves many people ignorant of the racism they face.

In response to @berry’s question I think that it was a problem, but like a lot of other things Trump has made it worse by making more socially acceptable to express xenophobic views toward Asians

My question is do you think that COVID related racism will spark a conversation around anti-Asian racism and lead to progress?

I think that once COVID is over, or is on the way to being over, this will spark conversation around the world. It won't now becuase for most countries, priorities are on dispersing the vaccine. But I beleive several conversations and meeting will take place afterward, one of which would be about the anti-Asian racism happening around the world.

SwedishFish
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 28

Let's Talk About It

I will never understand why people will make it their goal to insult and fully disregard the fact our differences are the very thing that makes us human. There is absolutely no reason, nor toleration that should be allowed when discriminating against an entire group of people. How do complete strangers feel entitled to comment on someone’s appearance or the way they talk without even getting to know them?


This hate has never been new, it has been ignored. This hate has been swept under the rug for centuries. Not until December of 2020 did I learn about the Chinese Exclusion Act. Not until TODAY did I learn that, “Tseng pointed to the immigration station at Angel Island where, between 1910 and 1940, over 225,000 Chinese and Japanese immigrants were detained under oppressive conditions for as long as six months” from (Coronavirus: Fear of Asians rooted in long American history of prejudicial policies) or that, “Public health authorities, in turn, misrepresented Asians as diseased carriers of incurable afflictions, like smallpox and bubonic plague, as a means to justify anti-immigration policy and to drum up hysteria against Asian immigrants, who were perceived as a threat to white Americans for jobs” (Coronavirus: Fear of Asians rooted in long American history of prejudicial policies). This information dates back over 130 years ago, and it's shameful that I only know about these things until now.


There is a reason why students across Boston Latin School, one of the most prestigious schools in Massachusetts, rarely learns about Asian-American history. It is because racism against minority groups is what withholds pro-nationalist and pro-white motives. To not share Asian-American and other POC struggles is to completely disregard what this entire country was built on.


Now I do not have the same experience, I do relate to this topic in similar ways. I can’t speak for Asian-Americans but I would like to assume that through immersing themselves in their culture they are able to find that their race does not boil down to the other category. It is diverse and multitudinous and should be embraced, even though society tells them not too. I read through the Article (‘I am not a virus.’ How this artist is illustrating coronavirus-fueled racism) that parents have to show and explain to their kids that racist remarks will be made against them. The constant hatred and attacks can lead these young children to want to be white as seen here, It’s actually based on my son after the attack in London. We were there visiting my partner’s family and my partner is also white. We were sitting in a cafe, and my son said to my partner, “Look around you. There are only three people here who look different and that’s me and my sister and mama. Everybody else looks like you. And I wish that I could look like you.” And he talked a lot about that for a long time afterwards, that he wanted to be white”.


The parallels between the film and what we see today in our own government is uncanny. During World War II about 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated. It sheds light on the fact that the government was able to cover up this event for so long, without any repercussions for decades. This film shows how excessive and authoritarian use of racist rhetoric can dehumanize an entire ethnic group for centuries. We see it today when Donald Trump calls the Coronavirus the “Kung Flu” or “China Virus”. This issue goes beyond our borders, it's in Italy when, “The governor of the Veneto region of Italy, an early epicenter of the pandemic, told journalists in February that the country would be better than China in handling the virus due to Italians’ “culturally strong attention to hygiene, washing hands, taking showers, whereas we have all seen the Chinese eating mice alive and in Brazil, “Brazil’s education minister ridiculed Chinese people in a tweet suggesting that the pandemic was part of the Chinese government’s “plan for world domination.” (“Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide) It's disheartening to listen to these acts of hate against Asian Americans, especially when racism against Asian Americans is rarely ever talked about. Their issues are shaded by the statistics that they have, “highest-income” and “ best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.” Their struggles are real too.


To be an ally means more than to listen and feel disgusted when you see a friend or stranger being mocked or attacked for their race. To be an ally it means to listen, learn, and take action. Whether it's by sharing these stories to raise more awareness. Or to stand up for someone you know who is being attacked by people who say and do things like, Two women attacked Chinese students in Australia, punching and kicking one and yelling “Go back to China” and “you fucking immigrants.” Two men attacked a Chinese-American in Spain and beat him so badly that he was in a coma for two days. A man with a knife attacked a Burmese family in Texas.” (“Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide). To use your privilege in order to uplift those who are discriminated against. As a non-asian American ally I can push for more representation in media and other sources of entertainment, like a parent from the article (‘I am not a virus.’ How this artist is illustrating coronavirus-fueled racism) I read said, “We also try to show them and give them good Asian role models and a variety of representation so that they can also build up some sort of self-confidence. My son, for instance, is very into football. We show him Asian football players so he can have someone to look up to that looks like him.“ There is not one simple answer for how to be an ally, but there is always a place to start.
Junior
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Racism Keeps on Happening Because Some People Want It To Happen

It's an unsettling thought, but I think that the response to Asian Americans during COVID is a smoking gun in the psyche of America. I am aware that other countries had anti Chinese responses, mentioned in the LA Times "Fear of Coronavirus fuels racist sentiment targeting Asians", but I am not equipped to commentate on other countries. I am white and I have never spent a prolonged period of time outside of Boston Massachusetts.
The evidence is fairly clear, America commits a lot of hate crimes. CBS News' "2120 hate incidents against Asian Americans reported during coronavirus pandemic" is fairly self evident, giving an uncomfortable amount of examples. "Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide" by Human Rights Watch called for national action plans to counter the disinformation and inflamed tensions, plans that were never instituted. "Anti-Asian Hate Has Surged During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Reports Find" by Teen Vogue reports 2583 hate incidents as of August 5th. The article also shares the data that only in 10% of the cases did bystanders interfere.

This is racism, point blank. Because it is racism, it is illogical and misguided. And most importantly, dangerous. Extremely dangerous. Anti-Asian sentiment is not a new phenomenon, but unlike other forms of racism it is swept under the rug. Only recently has it been talked about more in mainstream media, but going back less than 10 years and you'll find kid's shows with racist caricatures in some episodes while having an anti prejudice message in another. This is because racism against Asians isn't seen as racism by a lot of people. It's seen as a punchline.
Why was this so easy to inflame? Why did it take barely a whisper of a virus coming from China for Asian people as a whole to be targeted with abuse and violence? My theory is fairly simple, people like being racist. Or, in the most primal way, it feels good to be racist.
My hypothesis for this comes from an extremely inappropriate joke that I feel endlessly embarrassed for laughing at. I don't call it a meme because it's more of a punchline rather than a specific format, but it's called the "N-Word Pass". The idea is that white people can't say the racial slur, but black people can. So a white person could get the "right" to say the particular racial slur from a black friend. The details of the joke are entirely unimportant as most would consider it a "dead meme", but it reflects a disturbing want for a lot of white people.
They really, really want to say the N word. A very vocal minority (hopefully) love to say it. Young men in particular, even among non white people. A disturbing amount of Asian young men really like saying it as well. If you were to call any of these people racist, someone would probably counter saying that they are just being edgy to get a rise out of people.
I could go on for much longer about this theory, but I need to connect this to the violence against Asian Americans. The connection is pretty simple, there is clearly a well of reactionary energy baked into American society. There is always a reactionary, violent response to situations where race, sexuality, religion or gender is brought up. When I say reactionary energy I mean this seemingly never ending crackdown to maintain the status quo of hetero/cisnormative, white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal society. Without fail, there is always a strong, violent assault whenever a target is made. Whether that is because of a social justice effort or when something is done by those in charge to inflame the hatred of the masses.

mellifluously
Allston, MA, US
Posts: 23

it's called the "everyone gets it for being stupid enough by not protecting themselves" flu, not the "wuhan" flu

You’d assume that everything we’ve done in the world has ultimately pushed us to be more anti-racist. You'd be wrong. And this one quote of cases from Russia, mentioned in the Human Rights Watch website, stings.

“On about February 20, after Russia banned Chinese citizens from entering the country, the state-owned transport company Mosgortrans began ordering drivers of public transport in Moscow to report Chinese passengers to the police. Staff stopped many passengers perceived to be Asian and asked for identification and the number of their metro pass to track their movements. The Chinese embassy sent a letter to the Moscow government on February 24 asking them to take steps to stop the discriminatory practice. During the last week of February, well before Moscow was placed under lockdown, police raided several locations to identify Chinese citizens and force them into quarantine, regardless of their travel histories.”

The government asked public transport drivers to report to the police if they saw Chinese passengers. Doesn’t matter that I’m not Asian American, it still STINGS to read that. This perfectly ties in Valerie Soe’s “All Orientals Look the Same;” people who were assumed to be Chinese were still ostracized and reported. We, as a world, attempt to proclaim that we are not racist anymore. That we have equal rights and that everyone is respected. Anyone who still believes that needs a harsh wake up call. It’s all a facade. But let’s point something out as well:

Teen VOGUE brings up a great point:

“In a new report released in mid-September and shared with Teen Vogue, Stop AAPI Hate recorded 2,583 such incidents across the U.S between March 19 and August 5, 2020. One in seven of these attacks were directed against young people under 20 years old (14%). In a separate youth-specific report that analyzed incidents through late July, they discovered young people are more likely than adults to be harassed at school, in public parks, and online. In almost half of these incidents, adults were present, but only in 10% of cases did bystanders intervene.”

Teens are more likely to proclaim that they are pushing the anti-racist generation, the one that officially brings change and peace to our world. Where is it, though? Where is that effort? Another example would be TikTok, where most fads end up being racist. Remember the one where girls thought it pretty to try to pull on their eyes so that they’d look more Asian? Really? It’s so disheartening, especially once you click on that profile and see that that person tries to advocate and be anti-racist. It all becomes worthless in that moment. You cannot advocate for only one race and call it a day. You must advocate for all, regardless of race/ethnicity (even if they are indeed clear social constructs), sex, sexuality, gender (or lack thereof), religion, politics (with some clear exceptions), etc.

I personally even remember back in February 2020, right as COVID was starting to gain traction in the world, on my way home one day on the train, I saw this group of friends get on and sit together. A stop later, two Asian friends got on the train. That group FREAKED out. One of them jumped up and away from them and started recording them. No words were said, but it was CLEAR what was happening. It’s depressing, but it supports my point that teenagers are still prone to being racist, like most adults are. But the distinction, again, has to be made that teenagers who claim to advocate cannot say that they do if they only serve to support only ONE marginalized race. It must be ALL of them, not just the most prevalent one that would get you attention and recognition for being an “advocate” because you reposted something on Instagram.

I also want to bring up @slothman’s question (especially since it was ignored in the span of two posts) before I address Ms. Freeman’s, as it ties into what I’ve written: “Teenagers and Young Adults who are Asian American are often the culprits of these hate remarks, even in school. My question is, what should the school and colleges do to prepare and deal with this ongoing hatred? How will they protect their students?”

Along with the teens, they must work to be anti-racist in general. Most schools, like ours, only focuses on racial issues with the black community at BLS. It’s great, but it’s severely limited. It ignores the issue present, which is racism still occurs with ALL people of color (in contradicting Ms. Freeman’s earlier mention of saying how BPS now labels Asians as “white”). Schools need to address it. They also need to teach teachers how to better talk about these issues and confront racism if it occurs. This is the best I can think of as to how they can support and protect not only the Asian American community but all marginalized communities of color that are impacted by racist remarks and actions. That’s ultimately when we can begin to declare that we’re actively being anti-racist. Until then, we cannot say we’re doing so.

So, now, to Ms. Freeman’s questions:

I remember learning about FDR’s Executive Order 9066 in APUSH last year. It was really shocking to learn that someone who had fought for rights for so long and had supported and changed America for the good in so many ways had indeed signed and put into action such an order. Watching the movie about it certainly broadened my scope of knowledge over the order. Learning that there were so many lies to get the internment to happen and even continue (as with the failure to stop the internment after the Korematsu case) made that knowledge even worse. And finding out that FDR did indeed plan on pulling back on his stance after he won his third term? Politics dirty the hands of those who appear to be perfect. The fact that it took until the 80s and 90s to begin to apologize and take into action what happened is depressing, even more so when you see that the way in which it was done was so carefully crafted to avoid making the United States seem like the sole perpetrator. Of course, we have DeWitt and others to blame, but the fact that the Constitution was used to uphold the internment for innocent people? History repeated itself in such a short time. It was a clear parallel to the internment camps in Germany, even if not as horrendous or terrible. But it could have very easily gone that way. And history did repeat itself again. Trump tried doing that with Hispanic immigrants, but a thing to note: it’s been done a while. It hasn’t only been Trump. But focusing on him, he did also do it with Muslims with a travel ban. All this to demonize an innocent group people looking for a better life.

But now that COVID’s a thing? I best agree with Winston Tseng’s research, mentioned in UC Berkeley News: “Many Chinese Americans have been here for many generations and are not coming from China or Wuhan,” said Tseng. “Often, from a historical standpoint, I really feel things in our anti-immigration climate may just get worse before they get better.”

It'll definitely get worse. Americans have enjoyed turning people into scapegoats for ages. Hopefully now with Biden incoming, he can help prevent immigration issues from occurring that disproportionately affect people from Asia, or China, in particular.

Despite there not being internment camps, the racism still continues to this day. It’s continued for so long. I would say that I cannot truly answer as to how Asian Americans have confronted this othering, but I can attempt to do so, since I haven’t witnessed nor experienced it myself first-hand. But seeing it on the news and reading about it shows me that Asian Americans are indeed speaking up as much as people did during BLM. But it’s being ignored. It isn’t heard as much. So that very well leads into the final question, as to what non-Asians should do? Well, obviously, VOICE their opinions as loudly as those who support BLM. More needs to be said and done for Asian Americans. By adding them onto that “scope of advocacy,” people can begin to call for change and support for Asian Americans who have been harmed by racist acts and words. We have to demonstrate that as teenagers, we can indeed bring change for future generations. It starts here.

To wrap up, I leave my question to the next person: what do you think school officials (such as those at BPS) thought when they came up with the idea of classifying Asian Americans as “white?” Do you think they saw it as a benefit for Asian Americans? As something detrimental? Or something in of itself racist? And if you do believe it was a racist move, was it something you believe they realized consciously or not?

Also, to *officially* end on a lighter tone (somewhat), I found out that Learntoquestion lets you add images, so I want to use the one from the PBS article; a piece made by Korean-Swedish artist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom; it fits in with what most school districts are trying to classify Asians as now, so it is a bit comical.


fignewton11
Boston, MA
Posts: 24

Scapegoating and Xenophobia: History Repeating Itself

As we’ve studied in this class and have seen throughout history, people have a history of “othering” and scapegoating. When a group of people is seeing hardship, many resort to blaming others for their own failures. Hitler and the Nazi regime used Jewish people as scapegoats for their failures, and enough people that shared a similar discontentment with their status felt empowered to blame a group of people that had done nothing at all.

As the Human Rights Watch article says, “the pandemic continues to unleash a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering.” The whole world has seen devastating loss this year, and people want someone to blame. Rather than blaming local and federal legislators that failed to properly prepare for or control the virus, people blame those that look different from them. Donald Trump, a leader we should be able to trust at this time, has only perpetuated this racist rhetoric. He has been quick to label COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” but slow to actually take action. Trump has set an example in this nation of racism and blaming others, rather than holding himself accountable for the hundreds of thousands of lives lost due to his complete mismanagement of the virus.

However, as we learned in class, this anti-Asian hate is nothing new. Much of this hatred has also been scapegoating, Vincent Chin’s murder due to the increase in job loss. People use hardships of their own to justify racist behavior towards others. People also (like our President and his supporters) have the competitive idea that America must be first in everything, and must be truly “great again.” This idea has long been at the forefront of American values, and many believe America to be the greatest country in the world. As we’ve seen, however, this so-called greatness is often at the cost of those that pose any threat. Through this, America has a history of racist and xenophobic policies and attitudes. COVID-19 has only brought these racist attitudes in America (and across the globe) back to light. As the Berkeley News article says, “History is resurfacing again, with China becoming a stronger country and more competitive and a threat to U.S. dominance today, just like Japan was a threat in the second world war.” As China has grown to compete with our economy, people feel resentful towards them. This no longer fits their idea that America is superior in every way. So, people harbor these resentments (that have absolutely nothing to do with Asian-Americans; perhaps, see how Donald Trump has hurt our economy), and feel COVID-19 is an adequate excuse to spew racist rhetoric.

Asians have been confronted with racism for a long time in the United States, often backed by lies, as “Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066” showed. The title strikes a resemblance to today’s idea of “alternative facts in media,” and with the rise in anti-Asian hatred, a startling idea that history is repeating itself in some ways. While 120,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated as a result of Executive Order 9066, the parallels between that time and today’s racist rhetoric is startling. During COVID-19, there have been terribly high numbers of “potential civil rights violations including workplace discrimination, people being barred from establishments or being prevented from using transportation” (CBS). These discriminations have the power to completely ostracize an entire group of people, just as incarcerating so many Japanese-Americans did.

Recently, Asian-Americans have confronted this hate with groups such as “STOP AAPI HATE.” Some such as Haruka Sakaguchi, have turned the inner turmoil caused by racist outbursts towards them into art. At a time in the United States that has also seen unprecedented support for the Black Lives Matter movement, I found it particularly interesting that Sakaguchi said “Cross-racial solidarity has long been woven into the fabric of resistance movements in the U.S.” (Time) Asian Americans standing in solidarity with Black Americans and other communities of color empowers everyone involved.

This is why the allyship of non-Asians is so important. Standing in solidarity with Asians and combating the racist lies is critical in empowering these groups. When someone is in a position of any privilege, they have an obligation to use that privilege to amplify the voices of those who have been silenced. Allies must not make room for this racist behavior in society, and must stop the normalization of it. Many of the incidents we read about in class spoke of how anti-Asian rhetoric has been normalized as a “joke.” This cannot become normal. America must come to an understanding that as awful as this virus has been, berating and assaulting people that have nothing to do with it is never acceptable. People must speak out when they see racist lies being spoken, especially when our own president is speaking them. The idea of anti-racism applies to every race. It is not enough to not be racist yourself, one must be anti racist.

To answer @mellifluously, I think BPS determined Asian-Americans as white because the stereotypical image of an Asian does not portray their skin tone as such a stark contrast to white as other race’s. The fact is, though, Asian-Americans are not afforded the same privileges that white people are, and this categorization is harmful. I think the school committee did not think it was racist. I do not think they would have done so if they knew it was racist, even if just for publicity reasons. Their ignorance, however, is clear. I believe this categorization was racist, but perhaps not one they recognized consciously initially. I wonder, though, if they had spoken to any Asian-Americans about this decision. If they had, were they in agreement with the decision made.

My question for the next student is: do you think the COVID-related racism towards Asian-Americans will inspire new conversations and actions regarding this racism, or do you think the racism will only get worse due to it?

softballgirl18
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 21

Racism towards Asians

“Racism and physical attacks on Asians and people of Asian descent have spread with the Covid-19 pandemic, and government leaders need to act decisively to address the trend,”, is a direction quote from the Human Rights Watch article. You don't have to read the article to know this because all you would have to do is open any social media platform and there's thousands of comments and posts proving this. Ever since the spark of the corona virus in America, not only normal everyday people, but even politicians have been placing the blame on Asians. A lot of Asian youths have been the main target of these attacks especially. According to Teen Vogues article, "One in seven of these attacks were directed against young people under 20 years old (14%). In a separate youth-specific report that analyzed incidents through late July, they discovered young people are more likely than adults to be harassed at school, in public parks, and online.".

Theres even more direct racism towards the Asian front-line workers. My mom works at a hospital so I've noticed how hard the pandemic has been on frontline workers, but hearing stories about how patients come in and are openly racist towards the staff just proves how much harder it is for them. In the Time Magazine article, there's an account from Justin Tsui, a registered nurse pursuing a doctorate of nursing practice in psychiatric mental health at Columbia University, where he shares how on public transportation a man blamed bot only the corona virus but also earlier outbreaks on Asians.

The Berkley News article also speaks about how history is repeating itself. Like the man said to Justin Tsui, people have been blaming outbreaks on Asians for years. "Many of the immigrants were quarantined and given invasive medical examinations and interrogations at the facility without their consent or actual evidence of disease. Public health authorities, in turn, misrepresented Asians as diseased carriers of incurable afflictions, like smallpox and bubonic plague, as a means to justify anti-immigration policy and to drum up hysteria against Asian immigrants, who were perceived as a threat to white Americans for jobs.".

Chameleon23
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

History Repeating

Recently, racist attitudes towards Asians in general have skyrocketed along with the spread of the coronavirus. However, this is not new by any means. Every time the United States has conflict with an Asian country, there are people who group that country with all of Asia, and express their racist thoughts. As stated in the Berkely article, the “original history of xenophobia and racism in America from the 19th and 20th centuries is coming back.” It also included a comparison comparing Japan in world war 2 to China today. Today, China is a larger threat to the global position of the U.S., and the virus gives people an easy topic to vocalize their racist ideas on. One way to confront othering, as suggested by the Berkely article, is to change the way that people and cultures are described. Another way that Asians have confronted othering is by calling out people and groups who use things such as the coronavirus as a reason to blame all Asians for their troubles. In the Human Rights Watch article, it comments on how there are government leaders who “directly or indirectly encourage hate crimes, racism, or xenophobia by using anti Chinese rhetoric.” One of the most glaring examples of this is the president, who frequently refers to the coronavirus as the “China virus.” In fact, the problem is so widespread that according to the CBCNews article, there were more than 2100 anti Asian American hate crimes as a result of Covid 19 between March and June of 2020. The purpose of many of these articles is to educate people on what has been happening, and by doing this, the effects of othering can be somewhat mitigated.

The movie, Executive Order 9066, is about the xenophobia and racism towards Japanese people during world war 2. This connects to the current events going on with the coronavirus and xenophobia because they are similar in many ways. Despite the fact that each of these spikes in racism was initially towards a certain group of people, they both extended to being racist to anyone with Asian background.

In order for non Asians to become allies, there are many changes that need to be made. First of all, everyone needs to be educated on both current events as well as the history of xenophobia and racism towards Asians. In the Times article, several people share their stories about how they were put in uncomfortable or dangerous situations because of the othering. This article is helpful in revealing the shocking events that occur every day.

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