In March of 2020, exactly one year ago, our lives changed forever as a result of Coronavirus. The world went into a panic, completely unsure what the virus was capable of and what actions were needed to successfully combat it. Although reactions across the globe differ drastically, one reality has been for certain: Asians have been more subject to racism and discrimination. Covid-19 originating from China created a greater general dislike for China, and people began to inflict blame onto many Chinese individuals.
In the United States, former President Donald Trump coined the term the “Chinese virus” to describe Covid-19. His explicit way of communicating what he sees this virus as was extremely telling to his own prejudice but also the prejudice of those who stood by him as he continuously deemed Covid-19 “the Chinese virus.” Controversy shook the U.S. after he first said this term, and many Americans were taken aback by his outwardly racist practice. While many Americans outwardly disagreed with his perspective, there were some who not only agreed with the sentiment but also put those feelings into practice. Americans felt resentment towards Asian-Americans, and that resentment led to greater discrimination towards Asian-Americans.
It was found that our leaders had a significant effect on the behaviors of Americans towards Asian Americans, where “Donald Trump’s use of the term “Chinese virus” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s use of “Wuhan virus”… encouraged the use of hate speech in the US” (Human Rights Watch).
It was found that our leaders had a significant effect on the behaviors of Americans towards Asian Americans, where “Donald Trump’s use of the term “Chinese virus” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s use of “Wuhan virus”… encouraged the use of hate speech in the US” (Human Rights Watch). Although former President Trump retracted his use of this term and claimed solidarity with Asian-Americans on Twitter, his actions did not align with his words, as no greater action was taken to reflect such solidarity.
Verbal harassment and hate speech increased heavily through the use of social media towards Asian-Americans. Not only have Asian-Americans been subject to verbal discrimination, but the number of hate crimes has increased as well. Our systems have created an unfortunate reality where discrimination is a normal aspect of life. The lack of government intervention when such racism occurs further fosters a racist society. Whether it’s discrimination against Black Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, Asian-Americans, or any other POC, there is constantly a minority that is facing discrimination and prejudice. Racism has perpetuated a reality where those subject to heavy discrimination have to condition themselves to cope with the pain that comes with it, but instead, we should be conditioning Americans to address and resolve their own prejudice.
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