Racism and COVID-19

Racism+and+COVID-19

Kate Tilghman

By Nancy Mai, Staff Writer

Covid-19 carries an array of issues, and with the surge of cases there begins to be a bigger threat towards Asian Americans.

In late December, there were reports of a novel virus spreading from animals to humans. There wasn’t a widespread panic as these cases were only being found in Asia and especially in Wuhan, China: the ground zero of this pandemic. 

With that, Anti-Asian hate spread throughout America again. At first, it began as small jokes on social platforms. This quickly got darker. The virus continued to spread, and as the spread of the novel virus became worldwide and as of right now infected 1.3 million people with the death toll at 74 thousand with numbers predicted to double within the next coming weeks. (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/)

As infection rates begin to grow dramatically, racism towards Asian Americans turned violent, and the violence is no longer subjected in the comfort of one’s home behind a computer. This racism is subjected in person upon people that you have never met before. The attacks that are reported are unprovoked and mainly subjected upon the elderly, but are not limited to any age group. 

One reported case that really stuck with me is that of a 59 year old man in New York City. He was walking down the street as most people do, a seemingly normal activity for most people turned into a racial attack for him. He was kicked in the back and caused to fall on his knees by a teenager who then proceeded to make racially motivated slurs. (Reported by CBS News https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nypd-makes-two-hate-crime-arrests-for-attacks-against-asian-americans-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/)

It’s unbelievable that a simple everyday task such as walking down a street can provoke such an attack. Maybe it isn’t really the activity, but the fact that we’re Asian. It also doesn’t help the fact that Trump calls this the “Chinese virus” placing the blame on Asian Americans because, let’s be honest with ourselves, some people probably can’t tell which Asians are which race. 

Even though I’ve been fortunate enough not to be personally attacked and blamed for my race, it’s unbelievable how uncomfortable I am to go outside by myself, and how if I ever do have to go anywhere during this time I always call one of my friends to come with me, because at the end of the day I can’t go anywhere without being given a look. It’s almost like they want to say something but are too afraid to say anything. And honestly, they don’t have to, because even with the look they’re giving, you know what they’re thinking.

Moral of the story is we all need to stop letting this happen. Stop spreading stupid videos that are so inclined to make any of this a joke, because as an Asian American women, making fun of this pandemic is not only harming my community but also threatening their safety. Stop being so inclined to let this happen to someone else, because it’s “an issue we cause”… because in actuality everyone has a blame in all of this. It’s an issue we should all be focusing on solving.