Since the pandemic began, Asian communities have faced an alarmingly higher rate of hate, racism and xenophobia, and being labeled as “unclean” or as “viruses.” These types of racist and ignorant remarks have no place in the modern day and need to be addressed and stopped.
While the virus may have originated in Wuhan, China, Chinese people are not at fault for the COVID-19 pandemic. Blaming the entire country’s people for the virus spreads xenophobic and racist views of all Asian communities, creating a false generalization of Asian Americans.
Referring to COVID-19 as the “China Virus” or the “Wuhan Virus,” as former President Donald Trump did multiple times, only encourages hate against all Asian communities. And the rising numbers of anti-Asian discrimination since the pandemic started clearly prove that.
Nearly 3,800 hate crime incidents against Asian Americans were reported over the course of a year during the pandemic, with 68 percent of them reported by women, according to the Stop AAPI Hate National Report. In 2021 alone, 503 incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate as of Feb. 28. Incidents ranged from verbal harassment and shunning to physical assault. And this was before a white gunman shot and killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in three different spas in Atlanta on March 16.
The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found a 149% increase in hate crimes against Asian communities, with 49 crimes reported to police in 2019 to 122 crimes reported in 2020.
The World Health Organization advised to avoid naming diseases and viruses after countries to avoid stigma against the people in 2015. Trump’s labeling of the COVID-19 virus as the “China Virus” and the mass discrimination that followed it proved exactly why we need to detach viruses from specific races, ethnicities and regions.
Chinese, Chinese-American or any other Asian community are not at fault for the pandemic and do not deserve any of the hate they have received this past year. The world needs to band together to fight against Asian hate now.