COVID-19 Fuels Violence and Harassment against Asians
My heart sank with inevitable feelings of sorrow and fear on March 16. This was the day eight people were killed at an Atlanta spa. Six of them were Asian women. Many think that the suspect was racially motivated to attack the Asian-run business.
Hostility against Asian-Americans has increased since the beginning of COVID-19. According to a study provided by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, Anti-Asian hate crimes have surged 145 percent from 2019 to 2021.
To get to the bottom of this, the National Library of Medicine lists that Asian-Americans have been historically viewed as the physical ‘transmitters’ of outside disease. This has led to the regulated stigma that Asians are the ‘root of unknown disease’.
This is not true; Asian-Americans are not responsible for coronavirus, or any other type of virus. Discrimination against Asians has consistently been overlooked and widely ‘accepted’ despite the fact that most Asians have faced some type of opposition from others. This needs to be recognized and dealt with immediately.
Many Asian-American and minority students are being affected from negative messages across social media and even from their own peers.
“Racism has always been a prominent figure in my life; I’ve been made fun of for my food, eyes, and so much more,” said freshman Jasmine Yim. “And now, from recent events, I’ve become more cautious and aware. You never know if the next person injured on the news could be yourself or even your relative.”
As an Asian-American, I have never felt the need to protect myself from other people until now. There have been many myths and stereotypes surrounding Asians, one categorized as the “model minority myth”. The point of this stereotype is to hold Asians accountable for their so-called ‘advantage’ over other races and sets higher expectations on them.
To prove this, a survey from the Commonwealth Minority Health reported that Asians, Hispanics, and Black people had higher levels of academic stress than white-Americans. This demonstrates that Asians are held to different standards than others.
We need to stop the racism and mistreatment of Asian-Americans along with other minorities. Physical and verbal attacks are being made, and we need to express our anger and frustration in order to receive better protection.
Uniting and standing up against this crisis is the greatest thing we can do. Keeping up with reliable sources, petitioning, and following up with Asian-American communities can help push America’s protection system to do better. Nonprofit organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate and the NAACP provide good information on how to support minority communities fight for their rights.