posts 1 - 15 of 31
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 288


Readings and Streamings:

Note: It’s important that you read and/or watch at least SIX (6) of the 12 items listed below AND clearly reference them in your post. I would especially urge you to include within your choices #3 from Human Rights Watch (HRW) for a global perspective on this topic:


Reading options:

  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. 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

  1. Liz Mineo, “The scapegoating of Asian Americans,” Harvard Gazette, March 24, 2021. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/a-long-history-of-bigotry-against-asian-americans/

  1. Michael Eric Dyson, “Why don’t we treat Asian American history the way we treat Black history,” Washington Post, March 26, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/asian-black-atlanta-history/2021/03/26/9f10a9ac-8d98-11eb-9423-04079921c915_story.html

  1. Jay Caspian King, “The Myth of Asian-American Identity,” The New York Times Magazine, October 5, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/05/magazine/asian-american-identity.html

  1. Sakshi Venkatraman, “Asian hate crimes rose 73% last year, updated FBI data says,” NBC News, October 25, 2021.https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/anti-asian-hate-crimes-rose-73-last-year-updated-fbi-data-says-rcna3741

Streaming options:

  1. Video from the Los Angeles Times: Epidemic of Hate: Asian Xenophobia and Coronavirus, February 3, 2020 [7:55] https://youtu.be/7nlenypkMww [7:55] 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. 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/

__________________________________________________________________________

The former President repeatedly referred 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 COVID 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.


President Biden signed S.937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, sponsored by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), in May 2021. At the signing ceremony, Biden spoke eloquently of the “why” behind the legislation:


“We heard how too many Asian Americans have been waking up each morning this past year genuinely — genuinely — fearing for their safety just opening the door and walking down the street, and safety for their loved ones. The moms and dads who, when they let their kids out the door to go to school, were worried.

Attacked, blamed, scapegoated, harassed during this pandemic. Living in fear for their lives, as I said, just walking down street.

Grandparents afraid to leave their homes even to get vaccinated, for fear of being attacked.

Small business owners targeted and gunned down.

Students worried about two things: COVID-19 and being bullied.

Documented incidents of hate against Asian Americans have seen a shocking spike — as the Vice President has outlined at the front of her comments. Let alone — let alone the ones that have never been reported.

Gut-wrenching attacks on some of the most vulnerable people in our nation — the elderly, low-wage workers, women — brutally attacked simply by walking outside or waiting for a bus. Asian American women suffer twice as many incidents of harassment and violence as Asian American men.

And the conversation we had in Atlanta is one we’re hearing all across the country, that all of this hate hides in plain sight — it hides in plain sight — and too often, it is met with silence: silence by the media, silence by our politics, and silence by our history.

For centuries, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders — diverse and vibrant communities — have helped build this nation only to be often stepped over, forgotten, or ignored. You know, lived here for generations, but still considered, by some, the “other” — the “other.” It’s wrong. It’s simply — to use the phrase — it’s simply un-American.

My message to all of those of you who are hurting is: We see you. And the Congress has said: We see you. And we are committed to stop the hatred and the bias.”


The Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population in the United States, according to the US Census (as of 2020), is believed to number approximately 20 million people, roughly 7.7% of the total population in the nation. It constitutes the fastest growing population in the United States. 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 and Pacific Islanders—witness Valerie Soh’s keenly observed short All Orientals Look the Same [pointedly using the pejorative term, “Orientals”] so they lump AAPI all together. Not unlike the Native American voices we heard who wish that we would identify Native peoples by their tribes and not label them all “native” or “indigenous,” many Asians/Pacific Islanders too wish people would acknowledge their specific places of origin, their differing circumstances, cultures, and histories, and not simply assume that “sameness.”


We know that Asians/Pacific Islanders have been the target of dismissive language; think of the episode last fall when then Boston School Committee chair, Michael Loconto, was caught on tape (in fall 2020) mocking Asian names. And they have been the target of growing violence—think most especially of the killings of Asian women at spas in Atlanta in spring 2021.


So why the hate? 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.


How have Asians/Pacific Islanders—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. And what should non-Asians do today to be allies in response to what these articles 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!).


gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 26

Asians/Pacific Islanders and COVID: Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the era of COVID

After reading six articles, I noticed how every one of them mentioned the long history of blatant racism towards Asian Americans, and how this has been rooted into society and no one really seems to notice. In the first article I read, written by Michael Eric Dyson in the Washington Post, he discusses why Asian American history is not nearly discussed as much as Black history in America. He says “Still, Asian American and Black history share something crucial: the burden of stereotype and scapegoating for the nation’s ills”. This is an important quote to understand the severity of how Asian Americans have been treated for centuries in the United States, and the racism has only increased and become more apparent since the start of COVID-19.


In the article “The Myth of Asian American Identity” in the New York Times Magazine, Jay Caspian King reflects on his own history, when his parents immigrated to the United States from Korea, and having his daughter, who looks just like him. He discussed the past history of violence towards Asian Americans and how he is worried for his parents, mostly because they are older and he doesn’t want them to fall victims to the racism that came with the pandemic. Similarly, in the article in the Time Magazine titled “'I Will Not Stand Silent.' 10 Asian Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality”, the author takes ten perspectives from different Asian Americans and their encounters with other people during the pandemic. A trend that I have seen is that people will go out of their way to be racist towards Asians. In one of the stories from Jilleen Liao, she says she was on her way home from the grocery store when a man crossed the street to approach her and said, “Next time, don’t bring your diseases back from your country.” So with the question, how do Asian Americans confront this othering, they really can’t. Jilleen and others say they try to stand up for themselves and not be “too provocative”, but it is hard to fight back when your life's at stake. Many say they were too afraid to engage with their oppressors because they did not want to be followed home and killed.


Circling back to Donald Trump, I do not believe that this racism would be as violent if he did not heighten the situation with his attacks towards Asian Americans. Many of his supporters idolized him, and his xenophobic comments empowered his followers to attack innocent Asian Americans. But we know racism has been rooted in American history forever, and Asians are scapegoats for America’s problems. Ivan Natividad says in his Berkeley News article that “...China is increasingly perceived as the primary threat to America’s global dominance, and with economic and political tensions continuing to rise between the United States and China, Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans may be scapegoated for things other than the coronavirus.” Trump’s contributions to the already racist America allowed the violence and hate to surface and endanger everyone.


One benefit to young people on the internet is their ability to spread awareness about situations like #BLM and #GOTV. Racism against Asian Americans is not as talked about as racism towards Black people in America, so it is important that we stay educated and recognize our internal bias. In a TeenVogue article by Sara Li, she says “...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.” Racism, as we know, is taught. So in order to stop the hate, parents need to teach their children that it is not okay to do things like this to other human beings. In the Human Rights Watch article, it ends with “...all governments should adopt new action plans to address emerging forms of discrimination and xenophobia tailored to the new and changing circumstances.” With this being said, I do think that it is urgent to address the violence and racism towards Asian Americans in the United States, and honor the history of Asian Americans rather than blaming them and harassing them.


In class we looked at experiences written by Asian Americans during the pandemic, and one of the points of view was from an MBTA conductor who works here in Boston. He said that two men approached him and got agitated when they heard the schedule was changed, called him racial slurs, and continued to yell while walking away. I see articles and news coverage about occurrences like this in other places, but once again, Boston disappoints us with another instance of racism in our city. We need to change this, and soon, because there cannot be another generation that attacks a whole race for a global pandemic.


Do you think there is some prejudice towards Asian Americans in BLS, and if yes, how can we address it?

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

Asians/Pacific Islanders and COVID: Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the Era of COVID

People need someone to blame. It’s messed up, terrible, and cruel, but when things go wrong humans often try to place the blame on people. Unfortunately, people who were probably already racist in some ways, most likely had serious bias growing up, turned to Asian people when COVID-19 broke out. These people, mostly white, saw that COVID-19 originated in China, and ran with the idea that it was all Chinese peoples’ fault. Except, people did not just go after Chinese people, which of course would still be terrible if they did, but they began to verbally and physically abuse all Asian people. This is happening all over the world, not just in the US. It is also happening to Muslim people, who are being discriminated against in relation to COVID-19 in India and Sri Lanka (Human Rights Watch, May 12, 2020). In my opinion, Donald Trump has something to do with this. He repeatedly referred to the virus as the “Chinese Virus” which his supporters began to use as well. He did not do much when he was in office to help the Chinese while they were being discriminated against. Another issue is bystanders. In incidents where young Asian people were being harrassed in the US, people helped them in only 10 percent of these cases (Teen Vogue, September 18, 2020). If we as a community do not step up and help prevent incidents like this, things might not get better for Asian people.


But this is just recent news. Discrimination and abuse against Asian people is not new, but now people think they have an excuse. Angel Island and the Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 are examples of the long lasting hate of Asian people. In Angel Island, Asian people were detained for long amounts of time in terrible conditions. Health experts blamed viruses on Chinese people trying to make people afraid of having them in the US (Berkeley News, February 12, 2020). People are unaware of this history because it is not taught well in school. We go to a very liberal school in Boston, yet still, in my APUSH textbook it is implied that the Chinese Exclusion Act is not that bad. In class we pretty much skimmed over it. We also never learned about Angel Island. A lot of people also probably do not care. They don’t want to do their own research, and if it isn’t taught to them in school they won’t go out of their way to learn it.


“The current protests have further confirmed my role and responsibility here in the U.S.: not to be a ‘model minority’ aspiring to be white-adjacent on a social spectrum carefully engineered to serve the white and privileged, but to be an active member of a distinct community that emerged from the tireless resistance of people of color who came before us” (Haruka Sakaguchi; Time, June 25, 2020). Many Asian Americans have decided to break free from the societal norms of the “model minority” and to support other people of color. Also groups like STOP AAPI HATE have received many accounts of Asian Americans who have been harassed and abused by people. By telling their stories to the world, they can get the word out there that this is much more widespread than people think. Allies need to support Asian communities in multiple ways, visiting Asian owned businesses and restaurants (Erin Donaghue; CBS News, July 2, 2020), and intervening when you see something bad happening. The bystander effect is very real, and people who do nothing while Asian people are harassed are bystanders. In one instance, a man named Felix Sitthivong was working as a tutor when a student called all Chinese and Japanese people a slur. He wanted someone to speak up, anyone who was not Asian. But they did not, and he was forced to speak up as the only Asian person in the room (Felix Sitthivong; The Marshall Project, December 3, 2020). Allies must do better both in this country and around the world.


What do these instances of harassment all throughout history say about human psychology? Why do people do things like this?


giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

Response to Question

Originally posted by gato927 on January 06, 2022 08:54

After reading six articles, I noticed how every one of them mentioned the long history of blatant racism towards Asian Americans, and how this has been rooted into society and no one really seems to notice. In the first article I read, written by Michael Eric Dyson in the Washington Post, he discusses why Asian American history is not nearly discussed as much as Black history in America. He says “Still, Asian American and Black history share something crucial: the burden of stereotype and scapegoating for the nation’s ills”. This is an important quote to understand the severity of how Asian Americans have been treated for centuries in the United States, and the racism has only increased and become more apparent since the start of COVID-19.


In the article “The Myth of Asian American Identity” in the New York Times Magazine, Jay Caspian King reflects on his own history, when his parents immigrated to the United States from Korea, and having his daughter, who looks just like him. He discussed the past history of violence towards Asian Americans and how he is worried for his parents, mostly because they are older and he doesn’t want them to fall victims to the racism that came with the pandemic. Similarly, in the article in the Time Magazine titled “'I Will Not Stand Silent.' 10 Asian Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality”, the author takes ten perspectives from different Asian Americans and their encounters with other people during the pandemic. A trend that I have seen is that people will go out of their way to be racist towards Asians. In one of the stories from Jilleen Liao, she says she was on her way home from the grocery store when a man crossed the street to approach her and said, “Next time, don’t bring your diseases back from your country.” So with the question, how do Asian Americans confront this othering, they really can’t. Jilleen and others say they try to stand up for themselves and not be “too provocative”, but it is hard to fight back when your life's at stake. Many say they were too afraid to engage with their oppressors because they did not want to be followed home and killed.


Circling back to Donald Trump, I do not believe that this racism would be as violent if he did not heighten the situation with his attacks towards Asian Americans. Many of his supporters idolized him, and his xenophobic comments empowered his followers to attack innocent Asian Americans. But we know racism has been rooted in American history forever, and Asians are scapegoats for America’s problems. Ivan Natividad says in his Berkeley News article that “...China is increasingly perceived as the primary threat to America’s global dominance, and with economic and political tensions continuing to rise between the United States and China, Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans may be scapegoated for things other than the coronavirus.” Trump’s contributions to the already racist America allowed the violence and hate to surface and endanger everyone.


One benefit to young people on the internet is their ability to spread awareness about situations like #BLM and #GOTV. Racism against Asian Americans is not as talked about as racism towards Black people in America, so it is important that we stay educated and recognize our internal bias. In a TeenVogue article by Sara Li, she says “...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.” Racism, as we know, is taught. So in order to stop the hate, parents need to teach their children that it is not okay to do things like this to other human beings. In the Human Rights Watch article, it ends with “...all governments should adopt new action plans to address emerging forms of discrimination and xenophobia tailored to the new and changing circumstances.” With this being said, I do think that it is urgent to address the violence and racism towards Asian Americans in the United States, and honor the history of Asian Americans rather than blaming them and harassing them.


In class we looked at experiences written by Asian Americans during the pandemic, and one of the points of view was from an MBTA conductor who works here in Boston. He said that two men approached him and got agitated when they heard the schedule was changed, called him racial slurs, and continued to yell while walking away. I see articles and news coverage about occurrences like this in other places, but once again, Boston disappoints us with another instance of racism in our city. We need to change this, and soon, because there cannot be another generation that attacks a whole race for a global pandemic.


Do you think there is some prejudice towards Asian Americans in BLS, and if yes, how can we address it?

I definitely think that there is prejudice towards Asian Americans here at BLS. We can address it by firstly making it more well known, maybe our Head of School could talk about it to the school. Then, we could implement stronger policies in place to combat racism, especially racism that comes in covert ways, because those sometimes go by unaddressed.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

Asians/Pacific Islanders and COVID: Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the era of COVID

For centuries Asians and Pacific Islanders have been subjected to discrimination. This is nothing new. This hate has been building for centuries as white Europeans have seen Asians and identified them as different, therefore, less than. In history classes the Chinese Massacre of 1871 is never mentioned. In history classes the murder of Vincent Chin is never mentioned. In history classes the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is rarely touched upon. Nevertheless, this discrimination took a pandemic to be brought to light.

It is important to raise the question as to why many non-Asians are unaware of this. The answer? The failure of the education system. It is no secret that education in America is flawed, leaving out important stories of women, the Black community, the LGBTQ+ community, and many, many more. However, the system has completely failed to address the history of racism targeted to Asian Americans. To prove it, tell me three facts about each of the topics I mentioned above. Chances are you can’t.

While reading The Washington Post’s “Why don’t we treat Asian American history the way we treat Black history?” my eyes were further opened to the gaps in Asian and Pacific Islander history. The article was able to identify that there is no day dedicated to an Asian American activist like MLK Jr. There is no remembrance day for the massacres committed against Asian Americans like Indigenous Peoples Day. There is no bust of a Asian American civil rights leader in the Oval Office like Cesar Chavez. This article proposes the idea that because Asian Americans have been “unjustly perceived as less assertive than African Americans in the fight for equality,” their history is less known.

In the recent months following the COVID-19 outbreak, acts of discrimination such as beatings and the use of racial slurs have heightened. It’s easy to imagine these racially motivated attacks being done by low-life individuals, unknown to the greater public, however, this is not the case. According to Human Rights Watch’s “Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” these acts are done by none other than nation leaders. Donald Trump’s references to the devastating pandemic as the “Chinese virus” and Mike Pompeo’s use of the term “Wuhan virus,” are not the only forms of hate speech by world leaders. This hate speech echoed internationally as an Italian governor was quoted saying Italians would handle the virus better due to their “culturally strong attention to hygiene, washing hands, taking showers, whereas we have all seen the Chinese eating mice alive.” Not to mention Brazil’s education minister’s racist attacks, which suggested that the pandemic was simply part of the Chinese “plan for world domination.” These are world leaders. They have immense power and followings. They are getting away with this, which only allows their people to feel as if they can do the same.

These international figures, especially Trump, definitely provoked more Anti-Asian hate crimes in America. In NBC’s article “Anti-Asian hate crimes rose 73% last year, updated FBI data says” it mentions how in the US in 2020 Anti-Asian hate crimes rose up to 13%. The article mentions the graphic videos of these hate crimes and that they have been going viral recently, as awareness is being spread through social media platforms. Also the Los Angeles Times’s video “An epidemic of hate: anti-Asian hate crimes amid coronavirus,” outlined a hate crime in which a music artist was filming a music video for his song, which ironically, was about “the rise in hate crimes perpetrated against Asians.” Artist Rick Lee said that someone pointed at him and made ridiculing coughing sounds. This is just one of the various examples this video shows, but I found it the most memorable considering the pure hatred and irony involved.

To confront this, Asians/ Pacific Islanders have spread awareness through many ways. One of the ways I found most fascinating was through art, especially because art is such a vulnerable form of demonstration. While reading “ ‘I am not a virus.’ How this artist is illustrating coronavirus-fueled racism,” I was able to view cartoonist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom’s work. Her art is unconventional in the sense that it is mostly cartoons depicting verbal, physical, and even subtle racist attacks towards Asians. One of her pieces that caught my eye was a cartoon of a young, Asian boy painting his face white. Sjöblom commented on this cartoon saying it “isn’t actually about skin color. It’s about the whole idea of what whiteness is and the privileges it gives you if you’re white.” Lastly, I read the Times project “ ‘I Will Not Stand Silent.' 10 Asian Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality,” which gave a platform to 10 Asian Americans to express their feelings in such hateful times. All of the personal stories were very moving, but I found Ida Chen’s extremely haunting. Chen’s story involved a man shouting that he would “be into [her] if [she] didn’t carry the virus.” she began to feel even more endangered as he followed her, continuing his racist remarks. She then called 911 and still, to this day, takes precautions to avoid similar situations. This project gave just a few Asian Americans a platform to share their stories, but was so impactful for non-Asian readers to grasp the extent of discrimination they have faced and continue to face.

After reading all of these passages and videos, I was able to conclude that in order for non-Asians to become allies they must learn Asian/ Pacific Islander history. They must listen to their stories and art. Lastly, I think they must recognize that this racism on Asian Americans is not new and continues today.

How have you noticed awareness of anti-Asian discrimination rise since the spread of COVID-19? Why did it take a pandemic to bring this racism into light?

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

Originally posted by giraffes12 on January 06, 2022 11:06

People need someone to blame. It’s messed up, terrible, and cruel, but when things go wrong humans often try to place the blame on people. Unfortunately, people who were probably already racist in some ways, most likely had serious bias growing up, turned to Asian people when COVID-19 broke out. These people, mostly white, saw that COVID-19 originated in China, and ran with the idea that it was all Chinese peoples’ fault. Except, people did not just go after Chinese people, which of course would still be terrible if they did, but they began to verbally and physically abuse all Asian people. This is happening all over the world, not just in the US. It is also happening to Muslim people, who are being discriminated against in relation to COVID-19 in India and Sri Lanka (Human Rights Watch, May 12, 2020). In my opinion, Donald Trump has something to do with this. He repeatedly referred to the virus as the “Chinese Virus” which his supporters began to use as well. He did not do much when he was in office to help the Chinese while they were being discriminated against. Another issue is bystanders. In incidents where young Asian people were being harrassed in the US, people helped them in only 10 percent of these cases (Teen Vogue, September 18, 2020). If we as a community do not step up and help prevent incidents like this, things might not get better for Asian people.


But this is just recent news. Discrimination and abuse against Asian people is not new, but now people think they have an excuse. Angel Island and the Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 are examples of the long lasting hate of Asian people. In Angel Island, Asian people were detained for long amounts of time in terrible conditions. Health experts blamed viruses on Chinese people trying to make people afraid of having them in the US (Berkeley News, February 12, 2020). People are unaware of this history because it is not taught well in school. We go to a very liberal school in Boston, yet still, in my APUSH textbook it is implied that the Chinese Exclusion Act is not that bad. In class we pretty much skimmed over it. We also never learned about Angel Island. A lot of people also probably do not care. They don’t want to do their own research, and if it isn’t taught to them in school they won’t go out of their way to learn it.


“The current protests have further confirmed my role and responsibility here in the U.S.: not to be a ‘model minority’ aspiring to be white-adjacent on a social spectrum carefully engineered to serve the white and privileged, but to be an active member of a distinct community that emerged from the tireless resistance of people of color who came before us” (Haruka Sakaguchi; Time, June 25, 2020). Many Asian Americans have decided to break free from the societal norms of the “model minority” and to support other people of color. Also groups like STOP AAPI HATE have received many accounts of Asian Americans who have been harassed and abused by people. By telling their stories to the world, they can get the word out there that this is much more widespread than people think. Allies need to support Asian communities in multiple ways, visiting Asian owned businesses and restaurants (Erin Donaghue; CBS News, July 2, 2020), and intervening when you see something bad happening. The bystander effect is very real, and people who do nothing while Asian people are harassed are bystanders. In one instance, a man named Felix Sitthivong was working as a tutor when a student called all Chinese and Japanese people a slur. He wanted someone to speak up, anyone who was not Asian. But they did not, and he was forced to speak up as the only Asian person in the room (Felix Sitthivong; The Marshall Project, December 3, 2020). Allies must do better both in this country and around the world.


What do these instances of harassment all throughout history say about human psychology? Why do people do things like this?


I believe that these instances of racism throughout history tie to the us vs. them mentality. Like we learned in our lesson of genetics, because people are different than others, they are treated differently, and in this case Asians are met with hate. Also, when people see world leaders like Donald Trump be vocally racist, they feel that they can do the same. In this sense, if one person (especially a person in power) does something, others will likely follow. This is a group, strength in numbers mentality. It's hard to answer exactly why people do these hateful things, but human psychology can be a great resource to understanding how these people feel comfortable enough to be openly racist.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 29

Asians/Pacific Islanders and COVID: Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the Era of COVID

The pandemic has been responsible for an outbreak of violence and hate directed against Asians around the world, blaming them for the spread of COVID-19. In a time of fear and uncertainty surrounding the virus, people look for someone to accuse. Because the virus originated in China, people who wanted a group of individuals to blame found their target. This has led to a spike in the number of aggressive attacks on the Asian community. Yet this hatred is not new. For years now in the United States, Asian hate has persisted. Racial slurs, the fetishization of Asian women, and prevailing violence towards the Asian community have continued for hundreds of years. Stephanie Garcia, in April of 2020, wrote an article entitled, ’I am not a Virus’: How This Artist is Illustrating Coronavirus-Fueled Racism,” in the piece, she noticed that “The Asian community went “from being invisible” to being “hyper-visible, but as a virus or as a carrier of a virus.” Garcia noted that for years Asians have gone unseen and neglected, and yet when a virus that was first discovered in a Chinese city comes to the U.S., Americans were the first to point fingers.


Starting back in the 1850s, when Chinese immigrants began working in mining and railroad construction, there was high demand for these hazardous, low-wage jobs, and Chinese immigrants were willing to fill them. Almost immediately, the racist trope of “Asians coming to steal white jobs” was born. In 1854, the California Supreme Court only strengthened racism against Asian immigrants in People v. Hall, ruling that individuals of Asian descent could not testify against a white person in court, virtually guaranteeing that whites could escape punishment for anti-Asian violence. This is the reason so many non-Asian are unaware of the long history of violence shown towards Asians. Legally, cases like this one have allowed Asian hate to be long ignored, and yet, as soon as COVID-19 began and people needed someone to blame, suddenly Asians stopped being invisible. Liz Mineo wrote an article called “The scapegoating of Asian Americans” for the Harvard Gazette; in it, she wrote, “For the past year, Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have been blamed for the pandemic — slander born of xenophobia and ignorance.” She couldn’t be more right; the reason people are so quick to place the blame of the pandemic on Asians is because of the insensitivity non-Asians have. It’s showing complete ignorance to place fault on an entire race of people (even ones who don’t live in China) just because they’re scared of a virus.


One of the most frustrating things to bring up when talking about the racism Asians have faced since the beginning of the pandemic is the way that Donald Trump reinforced Asian hate by calling COVID-19 the “China Virus”. In the article and video by Erin Donaghue, “2,120 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans Reported During Coronavirus Pandemic,” Donaghue wrote, “The groups last month found that racist rhetoric including from President Donald Trump, who has referred to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus" and "Kung-flu," correlates with incidents of racism against Asian-Americans. Some assailants have displayed virulent animosity of China and have parroted Mr. Trump's "Chinese virus" term, the groups found.” And yet the hate from political leaders doesn’t end there, in the article “Covid 19 fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” it states that, “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.” Donald Trump and the governor of Veneto were both reasons why the hate was accepted. If people with as much political power as a president and a governor were blaming Asians, what could be wrong with it? This begs the question, how do Asians fight back against all this ‘othering’? Groups have been formed, such as the Stop AAPI hate organization and many other organizations aiming to end AAPI racism. But the sad reality is that many Asians are afraid; having tried to speak up in the past has only met them with more violence, and why would they want to risk their safety even more?


One of the most important ways non-Asians can become allies, especially during the pandemic, is to listen. Listen to the stories that they tell because every single person who listens to their stories can gain something from them. They can learn from them and recognize how much hate they are still faced with today. One story featured in Sarah Li’s, “Anti-Asian Hate Has Surged during the Coronavirus Pandemic, Reports Find,” read, “ “I feel scared to let my grandparents go out in fear that they may be harassed. I feel anger and confusion since society has normalized it so much that when we try to speak up about it, people still try and joke around about it,” wrote a 13-year-old in their survey response.” Another account from an Asian American included in the article “Coronavirus has sparked another epidemic in my prison: Anti-Asian Racism” read, “I know that hate is not a mistake. It is an intentional act meant to lacerate, maim, mutilate, disable, debilitate, impair, and every other goddamn verb my thesaurus has for causing pain.” If we can listen to stories like these, that lift up and empower the feelings of Asians, we can work toward being better non-Asian allies. Helping to raise AAPI voices that spread awareness and begin supporting the fight for change are the most significant contributions we can make as allies.


Other than listening and uplifting the voices of the AAPI community members, what action can non-AAPI members take to become better allies?

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 29

Originally posted by mango04 on January 06, 2022 13:50

For centuries Asians and Pacific Islanders have been subjected to discrimination. This is nothing new. This hate has been building for centuries as white Europeans have seen Asians and identified them as different, therefore, less than. In history classes the Chinese Massacre of 1871 is never mentioned. In history classes the murder of Vincent Chin is never mentioned. In history classes the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is rarely touched upon. Nevertheless, this discrimination took a pandemic to be brought to light.

It is important to raise the question as to why many non-Asians are unaware of this. The answer? The failure of the education system. It is no secret that education in America is flawed, leaving out important stories of women, the Black community, the LGBTQ+ community, and many, many more. However, the system has completely failed to address the history of racism targeted to Asian Americans. To prove it, tell me three facts about each of the topics I mentioned above. Chances are you can’t.

While reading The Washington Post’s “Why don’t we treat Asian American history the way we treat Black history?” my eyes were further opened to the gaps in Asian and Pacific Islander history. The article was able to identify that there is no day dedicated to an Asian American activist like MLK Jr. There is no remembrance day for the massacres committed against Asian Americans like Indigenous Peoples Day. There is no bust of a Asian American civil rights leader in the Oval Office like Cesar Chavez. This article proposes the idea that because Asian Americans have been “unjustly perceived as less assertive than African Americans in the fight for equality,” their history is less known.

In the recent months following the COVID-19 outbreak, acts of discrimination such as beatings and the use of racial slurs have heightened. It’s easy to imagine these racially motivated attacks being done by low-life individuals, unknown to the greater public, however, this is not the case. According to Human Rights Watch’s “Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” these acts are done by none other than nation leaders. Donald Trump’s references to the devastating pandemic as the “Chinese virus” and Mike Pompeo’s use of the term “Wuhan virus,” are not the only forms of hate speech by world leaders. This hate speech echoed internationally as an Italian governor was quoted saying Italians would handle the virus better due to their “culturally strong attention to hygiene, washing hands, taking showers, whereas we have all seen the Chinese eating mice alive.” Not to mention Brazil’s education minister’s racist attacks, which suggested that the pandemic was simply part of the Chinese “plan for world domination.” These are world leaders. They have immense power and followings. They are getting away with this, which only allows their people to feel as if they can do the same.

These international figures, especially Trump, definitely provoked more Anti-Asian hate crimes in America. In NBC’s article “Anti-Asian hate crimes rose 73% last year, updated FBI data says” it mentions how in the US in 2020 Anti-Asian hate crimes rose up to 13%. The article mentions the graphic videos of these hate crimes and that they have been going viral recently, as awareness is being spread through social media platforms. Also the Los Angeles Times’s video “An epidemic of hate: anti-Asian hate crimes amid coronavirus,” outlined a hate crime in which a music artist was filming a music video for his song, which ironically, was about “the rise in hate crimes perpetrated against Asians.” Artist Rick Lee said that someone pointed at him and made ridiculing coughing sounds. This is just one of the various examples this video shows, but I found it the most memorable considering the pure hatred and irony involved.

To confront this, Asians/ Pacific Islanders have spread awareness through many ways. One of the ways I found most fascinating was through art, especially because art is such a vulnerable form of demonstration. While reading “ ‘I am not a virus.’ How this artist is illustrating coronavirus-fueled racism,” I was able to view cartoonist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom’s work. Her art is unconventional in the sense that it is mostly cartoons depicting verbal, physical, and even subtle racist attacks towards Asians. One of her pieces that caught my eye was a cartoon of a young, Asian boy painting his face white. Sjöblom commented on this cartoon saying it “isn’t actually about skin color. It’s about the whole idea of what whiteness is and the privileges it gives you if you’re white.” Lastly, I read the Times project “ ‘I Will Not Stand Silent.' 10 Asian Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality,” which gave a platform to 10 Asian Americans to express their feelings in such hateful times. All of the personal stories were very moving, but I found Ida Chen’s extremely haunting. Chen’s story involved a man shouting that he would “be into [her] if [she] didn’t carry the virus.” she began to feel even more endangered as he followed her, continuing his racist remarks. She then called 911 and still, to this day, takes precautions to avoid similar situations. This project gave just a few Asian Americans a platform to share their stories, but was so impactful for non-Asian readers to grasp the extent of discrimination they have faced and continue to face.

After reading all of these passages and videos, I was able to conclude that in order for non-Asians to become allies they must learn Asian/ Pacific Islander history. They must listen to their stories and art. Lastly, I think they must recognize that this racism on Asian Americans is not new and continues today.

How have you noticed awareness of anti-Asian discrimination rise since the spread of COVID-19? Why did it take a pandemic to bring this racism into light?

There has most definitely been a rise in awareness of the discrimination Asians face from both the non-Asian and Asian communtiy. There have been protests held to fight Asian discrimination, there have been hashtags encouraging people to take action against Asian hate on social media outlets, and many other forms of raising awareness have recently occurred. I think the reason it took so long to bring this racism to light is history, for years there have been laws restricting the rights of Asians. One law in 1854 stated that individuals of Asian descent could not testify against a white person in court. Since the creation of this law Asians have only continued to be silenced. Many Americans place all the blame of the pandemic on the AAPI community and therefore because of the severity and prevalence that was sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, people are finally seeing the hate that has been happening for years.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 26

Originally posted by groot on January 07, 2022 20:55

The pandemic has been responsible for an outbreak of violence and hate directed against Asians around the world, blaming them for the spread of COVID-19. In a time of fear and uncertainty surrounding the virus, people look for someone to accuse. Because the virus originated in China, people who wanted a group of individuals to blame found their target. This has led to a spike in the number of aggressive attacks on the Asian community. Yet this hatred is not new. For years now in the United States, Asian hate has persisted. Racial slurs, the fetishization of Asian women, and prevailing violence towards the Asian community have continued for hundreds of years. Stephanie Garcia, in April of 2020, wrote an article entitled, ’I am not a Virus’: How This Artist is Illustrating Coronavirus-Fueled Racism,” in the piece, she noticed that “The Asian community went “from being invisible” to being “hyper-visible, but as a virus or as a carrier of a virus.” Garcia noted that for years Asians have gone unseen and neglected, and yet when a virus that was first discovered in a Chinese city comes to the U.S., Americans were the first to point fingers.


Starting back in the 1850s, when Chinese immigrants began working in mining and railroad construction, there was high demand for these hazardous, low-wage jobs, and Chinese immigrants were willing to fill them. Almost immediately, the racist trope of “Asians coming to steal white jobs” was born. In 1854, the California Supreme Court only strengthened racism against Asian immigrants in People v. Hall, ruling that individuals of Asian descent could not testify against a white person in court, virtually guaranteeing that whites could escape punishment for anti-Asian violence. This is the reason so many non-Asian are unaware of the long history of violence shown towards Asians. Legally, cases like this one have allowed Asian hate to be long ignored, and yet, as soon as COVID-19 began and people needed someone to blame, suddenly Asians stopped being invisible. Liz Mineo wrote an article called “The scapegoating of Asian Americans” for the Harvard Gazette; in it, she wrote, “For the past year, Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have been blamed for the pandemic — slander born of xenophobia and ignorance.” She couldn’t be more right; the reason people are so quick to place the blame of the pandemic on Asians is because of the insensitivity non-Asians have. It’s showing complete ignorance to place fault on an entire race of people (even ones who don’t live in China) just because they’re scared of a virus.


One of the most frustrating things to bring up when talking about the racism Asians have faced since the beginning of the pandemic is the way that Donald Trump reinforced Asian hate by calling COVID-19 the “China Virus”. In the article and video by Erin Donaghue, “2,120 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans Reported During Coronavirus Pandemic,” Donaghue wrote, “The groups last month found that racist rhetoric including from President Donald Trump, who has referred to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus" and "Kung-flu," correlates with incidents of racism against Asian-Americans. Some assailants have displayed virulent animosity of China and have parroted Mr. Trump's "Chinese virus" term, the groups found.” And yet the hate from political leaders doesn’t end there, in the article “Covid 19 fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” it states that, “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.” Donald Trump and the governor of Veneto were both reasons why the hate was accepted. If people with as much political power as a president and a governor were blaming Asians, what could be wrong with it? This begs the question, how do Asians fight back against all this ‘othering’? Groups have been formed, such as the Stop AAPI hate organization and many other organizations aiming to end AAPI racism. But the sad reality is that many Asians are afraid; having tried to speak up in the past has only met them with more violence, and why would they want to risk their safety even more?


One of the most important ways non-Asians can become allies, especially during the pandemic, is to listen. Listen to the stories that they tell because every single person who listens to their stories can gain something from them. They can learn from them and recognize how much hate they are still faced with today. One story featured in Sarah Li’s, “Anti-Asian Hate Has Surged during the Coronavirus Pandemic, Reports Find,” read, “ “I feel scared to let my grandparents go out in fear that they may be harassed. I feel anger and confusion since society has normalized it so much that when we try to speak up about it, people still try and joke around about it,” wrote a 13-year-old in their survey response.” Another account from an Asian American included in the article “Coronavirus has sparked another epidemic in my prison: Anti-Asian Racism” read, “I know that hate is not a mistake. It is an intentional act meant to lacerate, maim, mutilate, disable, debilitate, impair, and every other goddamn verb my thesaurus has for causing pain.” If we can listen to stories like these, that lift up and empower the feelings of Asians, we can work toward being better non-Asian allies. Helping to raise AAPI voices that spread awareness and begin supporting the fight for change are the most significant contributions we can make as allies.


Other than listening and uplifting the voices of the AAPI community members, what action can non-AAPI members take to become better allies?

I think in order to become better allies to the AAPI community, we need to understand the deep rooted history of Asian Americans in the United States, and recognize the centuries of racism and division they have faced. In addition, we need to get rid of stereotypes and derogatory terms that continue to harm Asia Americans. Lastly, I think we need to stand up for members of the AAPI community better, especially by spreading awareness in everyday life and on social media.

flowerpower
Posts: 23

Asians/Pacific Islander and COVID

This history of racism against Asian and Asian American people goes back far before the Coronavirus. From the Chinese exclusion act in 1882 to the newer Covid inspired Xenophobia anti-asian behavior has always been a part of american history. Members of the AAPI community are more and more often being treated like the “other”, and non-asian Americans are quick to blame them for whatever is going wrong in the US. We know that covid-19 does not discriminate and Asian people are not more likely to have or contract covid than any other race, but they are still being discriminated against because of non-Asian Americans' fear and bigotry. In a video from CBS on hate incidents against Asian Americans they talked about how businesses have been receiving less and less customers and how other AAPI community members have been bullied and attacked, simply because of the way they look. Another aspect behind the hate we’ve seen is politics, in a quote from a Berkley News article we learn that “China is increasingly perceived as the primary threat to America’s global dominance, and with economic and political tensions continuing to rise between the United States and China, Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans may be scapegoated for things other than the coronavirus.” This goes back in history as well to when Japanese automakers were coming to the US and growing successful, non-asian Americans became resentful and blamed Asian Americans for taking away from American automakers business. An article from the human rights watch reminds us that some political leaders like Donald Trump have even promoted stereotypes and hate towards Chinese and all asian people “by using anti-Chinese rhetoric.” Allowing this hate to occur within our melting pot of a country is unacceptable.

Recognizing these behaviors and biases against the AAPI community is important, especially educating and opening peoples eyes to them. In an article by the Times they explained one plan to combat it would be working with the Black community to fight all forms of racism. We know that the racism Black Americans face has generally been more in the open than that of Asian Americans but as we experience the racial reckoning of the Black Lives Matter movement the Times article advises that racism towards both groups be fought against together. While the Washington Post acknowledges the differences between the groups and the different forms of and reasons for the treatment they have faced, their article agrees that “Asian American and Black history share something crucial: the burden of stereotype and scapegoating for the nation’s ills” and “Until we understand the ways in which the Asian American story is in many ways like the African American story, we won’t be able to reckon with tragedies like Atlanta.” Non-Asian Americans need to learn about this hate and why it occurs, and we need to fight biases in ourselves and other people close to us. Also to remember that it is not Asian peoples responsibility to convince anyone they deserve to be treated with respect. Non-Asian people need to fight for respect for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their rights.

So what are the best/most efficient ways to actually measurably combat this hate and allow AAPI to live with peace and respect in America? I recognize it’s easy for us to say we should “fight against the hate” but what does that mean and look like in a literal sense?


flowerpower
Posts: 23

Response to Groots question

Originally posted by groot on January 07, 2022 20:55



Other than listening and uplifting the voices of the AAPI community members, what action can non-AAPI members take to become better allies?

Non-AAPI members can educate themselves on the history of AAPI treatment and it's current path. We can also work within our local communities, meaning schools, friendships, social circles, sports teams, and families, to start discussions, educate and connect with others about ending hate, and teaching respect, peace towards, and appreciation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders within those communities and the world. Another way, which is part of uplifting voices, is advocating for the adequate representation of Asian Americans in politics as well as all forms of media. Lastly working hard to teach young children love and respect for all cultures, communities, and people, is greatly important.

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

Asians/Pacific Islanders and COVID: Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the Era of COVID

Asian Americans are seen as the ‘model minority group’, but the thing is, this isn’t true for all Asian Americans at all. First off, East Asians are who are subject to the stereotypes of growing up to become doctors or lawyers, and being extremely intelligent. But Southeast Asians are seen as illiterate, and unintelligent, and these are themes that are widely shown in media, whether it is making fun of an accent, a dish, or many other cultural things. Pacific Islanders and Native Americans are barely even talked about at all, there is a refusal to talk about the discrimination and prejudice they face. But the thing is, these are several different cultures, and these cultures are used to the advantage of white people, for when white people want to seem smarter, or when they want to seem better than.

In the I am not a virus article, the artist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom talks about the images she creates regarding the racism against East Asians, specifically the racism following COVID-19. She illustrates both phrases and real life experiences to show people about what East Asians have gone through, a specific one being where a Singaporean girl was asked to leave a French tram by a white woman, because the woman didn’t want to catch covid from her. In the Time article, 'I will not stand silent', a similar story is told. A Chinese American nurse named Justin Tsui was racially harassed on a train platform, and was told to go back to his country. Tsui was scared for his life, when the man harassing him was coming closer and closer, further backing him on the platform, and was nervous to get off the train, in fear that the man would follow him home. The Teen Vogue article tells the statistic that the organization Stop AAPI Hate recorded 2,583 racial hate incidents from March 19, 2020, to August 5, 2020, and that 14% of these attacks were committed against someone under the age of 20 years old. The NBC news article also tells that with the rise of hate crimes against AAPI, has come a further rise of stereotypes, and not just ones committed against Asians, but also statements saying that Black people are the majority of those who have been attacking elder Asian Americans. People are taking a traumatic reality of AAPI, and twisting it, to further demonize other racial groups

Recently in class we have been talking about the US history textbook used for both AP US History as well as US History 2, and how inaccurate it tells of American history. In the Washington Post article, it mentions in contrast to the refusal to tell the accurate history of the treatment of Black people in America, “Asian American history is often footnoted or compartmentalized, recounted and analyzed as a subplot to the bigger narrative.” The scapegoating of Asian Americans article mentions that in the few times the trauma of Asian Americans is mentioned in a history textbook, its only in the circumstance of them being put in the place of blame, like the interment camps during WWII, and now, AAPI are the scapegoats again for Covid. People always need someone to blame.


One of the original questions of the post is: what should non-Asians do to be allies in response to what these articles and clips chronicle? This isn’t an easy question, and like how Tsui said in the Time Article, change won’t happen overnight. But I do disagree with Tsui on one thing, I personally believe that if non-Asians start doing their own research, there will be a gradual improvement, people need to realize that racism against AAPI is not new, it is something that has been going on for centuries and centuries.


My question is what do you think is the reason for this loss of humanity? What do you believe allows people it is acceptable to assault a person of any age simply became of racial prejudice?

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

Originally posted by groot on January 07, 2022 21:38

Originally posted by mango04 on January 06, 2022 13:50

For centuries Asians and Pacific Islanders have been subjected to discrimination. This is nothing new. This hate has been building for centuries as white Europeans have seen Asians and identified them as different, therefore, less than. In history classes the Chinese Massacre of 1871 is never mentioned. In history classes the murder of Vincent Chin is never mentioned. In history classes the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is rarely touched upon. Nevertheless, this discrimination took a pandemic to be brought to light.

It is important to raise the question as to why many non-Asians are unaware of this. The answer? The failure of the education system. It is no secret that education in America is flawed, leaving out important stories of women, the Black community, the LGBTQ+ community, and many, many more. However, the system has completely failed to address the history of racism targeted to Asian Americans. To prove it, tell me three facts about each of the topics I mentioned above. Chances are you can’t.

While reading The Washington Post’s “Why don’t we treat Asian American history the way we treat Black history?” my eyes were further opened to the gaps in Asian and Pacific Islander history. The article was able to identify that there is no day dedicated to an Asian American activist like MLK Jr. There is no remembrance day for the massacres committed against Asian Americans like Indigenous Peoples Day. There is no bust of a Asian American civil rights leader in the Oval Office like Cesar Chavez. This article proposes the idea that because Asian Americans have been “unjustly perceived as less assertive than African Americans in the fight for equality,” their history is less known.

In the recent months following the COVID-19 outbreak, acts of discrimination such as beatings and the use of racial slurs have heightened. It’s easy to imagine these racially motivated attacks being done by low-life individuals, unknown to the greater public, however, this is not the case. According to Human Rights Watch’s “Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide,” these acts are done by none other than nation leaders. Donald Trump’s references to the devastating pandemic as the “Chinese virus” and Mike Pompeo’s use of the term “Wuhan virus,” are not the only forms of hate speech by world leaders. This hate speech echoed internationally as an Italian governor was quoted saying Italians would handle the virus better due to their “culturally strong attention to hygiene, washing hands, taking showers, whereas we have all seen the Chinese eating mice alive.” Not to mention Brazil’s education minister’s racist attacks, which suggested that the pandemic was simply part of the Chinese “plan for world domination.” These are world leaders. They have immense power and followings. They are getting away with this, which only allows their people to feel as if they can do the same.

These international figures, especially Trump, definitely provoked more Anti-Asian hate crimes in America. In NBC’s article “Anti-Asian hate crimes rose 73% last year, updated FBI data says” it mentions how in the US in 2020 Anti-Asian hate crimes rose up to 13%. The article mentions the graphic videos of these hate crimes and that they have been going viral recently, as awareness is being spread through social media platforms. Also the Los Angeles Times’s video “An epidemic of hate: anti-Asian hate crimes amid coronavirus,” outlined a hate crime in which a music artist was filming a music video for his song, which ironically, was about “the rise in hate crimes perpetrated against Asians.” Artist Rick Lee said that someone pointed at him and made ridiculing coughing sounds. This is just one of the various examples this video shows, but I found it the most memorable considering the pure hatred and irony involved.

To confront this, Asians/ Pacific Islanders have spread awareness through many ways. One of the ways I found most fascinating was through art, especially because art is such a vulnerable form of demonstration. While reading “ ‘I am not a virus.’ How this artist is illustrating coronavirus-fueled racism,” I was able to view cartoonist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom’s work. Her art is unconventional in the sense that it is mostly cartoons depicting verbal, physical, and even subtle racist attacks towards Asians. One of her pieces that caught my eye was a cartoon of a young, Asian boy painting his face white. Sjöblom commented on this cartoon saying it “isn’t actually about skin color. It’s about the whole idea of what whiteness is and the privileges it gives you if you’re white.” Lastly, I read the Times project “ ‘I Will Not Stand Silent.' 10 Asian Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality,” which gave a platform to 10 Asian Americans to express their feelings in such hateful times. All of the personal stories were very moving, but I found Ida Chen’s extremely haunting. Chen’s story involved a man shouting that he would “be into [her] if [she] didn’t carry the virus.” she began to feel even more endangered as he followed her, continuing his racist remarks. She then called 911 and still, to this day, takes precautions to avoid similar situations. This project gave just a few Asian Americans a platform to share their stories, but was so impactful for non-Asian readers to grasp the extent of discrimination they have faced and continue to face.

After reading all of these passages and videos, I was able to conclude that in order for non-Asians to become allies they must learn Asian/ Pacific Islander history. They must listen to their stories and art. Lastly, I think they must recognize that this racism on Asian Americans is not new and continues today.

How have you noticed awareness of anti-Asian discrimination rise since the spread of COVID-19? Why did it take a pandemic to bring this racism into light?

People hate to acknowledge further problems in the world, so when it comes to talking about discrimination against the one Model Minority group, nothing is said. But after the pandemic started, this crimes and events have been taking place so much that they are impossible to ignore, and people would feel 'bad' if they didn't say anything. I think this racism was only brought into light to ease the consience of the privaledged.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

Anti-Asian Discrimination during Covid

The hate Asians face comes from white people's superiority complex and refusing to take the blame for their own shortcomings. This applies to all races not just Asians, but with covid originating in China they have just been the recent focus of discrimination to make up for white peoples inability to either not get covid or prevent others from being harmed by it. White people use the fact that covid originated in China as an excuse for their racism and justify it as reasonable anger because “they started it and brought it here”. There has always been Asian discrimination in this country, as many of us have learned about the Chinese Exclusion Act, and various other laws, acts and unspoken rules that continue to be made or have yet to be abolished. The reason why very few people are aware of any of this is because of the spoils system. History is written by the winners, or those in power. So if white people run a country their textbooks will favor the white people along with their criminal justice system, which will down the line raise people to forget and ignore the ugly past and truth even when given correct information. As I said before the pandemic is just used to finally be open about their racism because they know they will not be reprimanded for it, and then the President at the time was adding fuel to the fire and further confirming that white people will get away with their racist behavior to Asians.


The discrimination started all the way back in the 1800s when Asian pepole first started showing up in the Americas (though the feeling of superiority to them most likely started years before when Europenas first started trading with Asia) with the hopes of a better life because of the promised American Dream. But to fulfill that dream they would have to outcompete the white americans for jobs and to do this they not only had to work for cheaper but do a better job. This would make whites feel threatened because they were no longer the only ones getting up in the world. Their numbers would keep rising to the point where whole cities would have a population of just Asian people. White people didn’t like how other people were getting in on the same dream they had so rules were being made that would exclude them from working in certain places. Nativism was also on the rise as waves of northern Europeans started to come in. Later on in World War 2 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor all Japanese people regardless of if their were immigrants or citizens were put in concentration camps. This would bring about another wave anti-Asian hate along with whites refusing to differentiate between the countries of Asia, anyone who “looked asian” was to be harrassed. To combat all of these “chinatowns”, unions and other communities were made to support asian communities themselves and lead protests to get help from the government. Even now there are various groups and individuals who speak out against their mistreatment that keeps getting swept under the rug.


Asian people are regarded as the “model minority”, so they are still seen as a minority but are “given” some privileges that others wouldn't have. But now with social media on the rise with a wide range of accessibility and influence the topic of race has become a hot topic and is finally seeing some attempts of being resolved. But this means that the white people who are in power have the task of assigning race privileges, like making Asian people be marked as white to deal with diversity in schools, but all this is the the erasure of Asian/Pacific Islanders who in regards to skin tone would not be treated as such on the street. The first thing people can do to be allies is to educate themselves on the various countries that make up Asia and all of the discrimination they have faced over the years because of the white superiority complex and racism. Then they can help raise Asian voices about the recent Anti-Asian hate because of covid and Asian/Pacific Islanders being considered white when marking their race/ethnicity for official papers.


How do you think marking Asian/Pacific Islanders as white affects other minorities?

dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 27

Xenophobia and Hate Crimes in the Era of COVID

The rise in hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans during the Covid era shows the deeply rooted anti-Asian sentiment that has been around for centuries in this country. Immigration policies and xenophobia targeting Asian people continue to have a lasting impact. An article from UC Berkeley dives into the history of these incidents and their harmful legacies. An early example of xenophobic policy is the The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the country. The article states that “it was the first immigration law that excluded an entire ethnic group.” At Angel Island, in the early 1900s, Chinese and Japanese immigrants were detained for months and sometimes years at a time, where they were subjected to quarantine and non consensual medical examinations. This led to the notion that people from these countries were disease carriers and it was used to justify xenophobic policies. This idea is still present today.


In an interview with PBS, Swedish-Korean artist Lisa Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom said, “From being invisible, we’ve become hyper-visible, but as a virus or as a carrier of a virus.” She mentioned this in the wake of anti-Asian discrimination during Covid. According to the FBI, anti-Asian hate crimes rose 73% in 2020. Because Covid was first recorded in China, people have blamed Chinese and Asian people as a whole for the pandemic. The Harvard Gazette article says that “Asian Americans have been regularly scapegoated during periods of national duress.” One significant example of this is the murder of Vincent Chin, who was beaten to death by white men who thought he was Japanese. They were driven by resentment over the rise in the Japanese auto industry. Throughout his presidency, Trump has used offensive language associating the coronavirus with Chinese and Asian people, like the “China virus” and “kung flu.” This dangerous rhetoric has played a role in the uptick of harassment and hate crimes.


The increase in anti-Asian prejudice is not just a problem in the US, but around the world. There have been growing reports of harassment and violence against Asians in countless other countries. The pandemic has also become a reason for countries and groups of people to discriminate against other minorities and place blame on them. The Human Rights Watch article reports on these types of incidents. For example in India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, where anti-Muslim sentiment has been a long-standing issue, people have channeled their deeply rooted bias against Muslims into blame for the virus. The pandemic has resulted in the scapegoating of minorities which have been historically oppressed.


In the US, so much of Asian-American history and oppression is obscured or pushed aside, often in the context of black Americans and their struggles. The Washington Post article said, “Asian American and Black history share something crucial: the burden of stereotype and scapegoating for the nation’s ills.” This is important because the struggles of Asian-Americans and other minorities are often compared in harmful ways. For example, the model minority myth “was intended to pit minorities against each other and allows a segment of the country to avoid any responsibility for addressing racism or the damage it continues to inflict” (Teen Vogue). The article continued with this idea of how harmful the minority myth narrative is, concluding that it downplays “the structural racism that Black and non-Asian communities face.” It is important to understand that although the experiences and histories of racial minorities in America are unique, they are all oppressed by the systemic racism and white supremacy. Haruka Sakaguchi, a Japanese photographer, says that she is trying “to be an active member of a distinct community that emerged from the tireless resistance of people of color who came before us” (Time article).


Asian Americans and their allies having created ways to combat this perpetual hate, violence, and discrimination. Social media has played a significant role in spreading awareness of hate crimes and other racist incidents, like the use of hashtags on twitter. Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit organization was formed in 2020 as a place to report hate crimes against Asians, tracking all of these incidents. Asian people are sharing their experiences with racial prejudice in their own ways. Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom has written comic books about her experience as a Korean in Sweden, grappling with identity while facing discrimination. She finds art a powerful tool for self expression and spreading awareness for those on the receiving end. She says, “People tend to understand it better or show more empathy when they see my drawings.” Haruka Sakaguchi uses her photography to bring awareness to racist aggression they have experienced and to uplift their voices about “cross-racial solidarity” (Time article). For non-Asians to be allies, it is important for them to know the long history of anti-Asian sentiment in the country and to understand the harm microaggressions and stereotypes cause. There needs to be more advocacy between racial minorities because their struggles are intertwined.


Question: What can schools and school committees do to mitigate anti-Asian racism, whether that be microaggressions or other forms of bullying?

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