Ever since the Novel Coronavirus hit the United States last March, hate crimes and violent attacks on Asian Americans have increased. Why is that?
I could think of a lot of reasons, but it all comes back to education and media consumption. Some news outlets and political officials use propaganda and create misleading titles of the coronavirus alluding to Asian Americans. Some examples include calling the Coronavirus names like “China Virus” or “Wuhan flu.”
I have seen and heard many justifications to why people use those two names rather than what it is, the Coronavirus, COVID-19, or specifically SARS-CoV-2.
Attaching locations or ethnicities to viruses’ deliberately creates an unconscious bias, which is more than likely the cause of the increase in xenophobia attacks and microaggressions we’re seeing on the news.
The refusal of listening to another person of a different race’s plea for justice, equality and equity until “the request comes in a language you feel comfortable with” is another privileged way of asserting dominance over the situation.
For anyone who may not remember, the definition of unconscious bias is “Social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside of their own conscious awareness,” according to the University of California in San Francisco.
Pathogens literally do not and cannot discriminate. It is a virus, not a person.
If you witness people mispronouncing COVID-19 or the Coronavirus, correct them. Educate them. Go into a friendly, informative debate and be an ally to the Asian community. Check in on your friends and donate to victim memorial funds, community restoration and enrichment organizations.
Let’s take some time to have those conversations and become better allies for one another, especially for our Asian community right now.