Asians/Pacific Islanders and COVID: Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the Era of COVID
Hate is present everywhere, no matter where you go or how seemingly un-hateful this location is there is always hate. It has always and still is an incredibly relevant piece of our society and unfortunately takes control of many aspects of our country and more broadly the world. There are around 24 million Asian-Americans in the United States, roughly 5.7% of the population and has not just recently but for a very long time have been experiencing hate from many directions. I do believe the reason for the uptake in Asian hate and discrimination during covid 19 was due to the origin of the virus and the desire to place blame. Another unfortunate fact about Asian hate is that it is usually generalized hate. Many Asian Americans identify with a certain culture or region of the continent making them though from the same continent very different when it comes to where they are from and who they are and how they identify. However unfortunately most people will lump them all in to one category or group which is why Asian hate is such a general hate. Many do not bother to know about where individuals come from or how they identify in accordance to who they are. The origin of the virus, being China, definitely spurred the hate to a new level even more due to the already existent distaste and continental conflict between America and China. Liz Mineo’s article in the Harvard Gazette calls to the use of scapegoating of Asian countries and its citizens those in America and external. A prime example of this being the targeting of Japanese Americans after the attacks of Pearl Harbor.
Another continuous problem with history and more specifically this history of Asian and Asian American hate is the lack of education, focus on the issue. Michael Eric Dyson, in his Washington Post article “Why don’t we treat Asian American history the way we treat Black history?” talks very in depth on this issue expressing that one of the pressing problems of this is the many varying cultures and different histories that all of these sub groups have. The almost laziness to learn peoples identity and who they are, to listen to their stories is putting a road block in the ability to inform accurately about history.
There are also the many misconceptions, generalizations, and stereotypes made about these groups all together. Blatantly ignoring the difference of the subgroups and even more specifically the ignorance of individualism and people as their own and not grouped. This is also where the use of the model minority myth is used to oppress other minority groups along with those of Asian decent.
I think to progress and improve our lives and those around us we must reflect. Reflection I think is very important and looking inwards at our own biases and the biases held by the world around us. Continuing to educate ourselves and inform and ask questions is necesary to continue our growth as a society as a country and as a planet.