Racism emerges among the chaos of the coronavirus


Mr. Bowne

  Broadcasts largely focus on the “how” and “what” aspect of each issue, and articles add the “why” to the mix. 

The occasional cough, a sneeze here and there, maybe even the smallest sniffle; this should trigger alarm bells in your mind, especially since we’re in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. 

   As social distancing became more frequent in our lives, it’s a smart idea to avoid people with these flu-like symptoms. 

   But a problem has surfaced where people are discriminating against others solely based on their race, instead of just avoiding the people who have virus symptoms. 

   As if things couldn’t possibly get any worse, another rather old concept arose from the ashes: racism. Racism wasn’t anything new; there’s always going to be racism however hard you try to fight it. 

   While the coronavirus outbreak expanded to the far outreaches of the globe, racism towards East Asians reached an all time high. By now, everyone knows that the coronavirus started in a city in China. Many countries took this as an excuse to be openly racist towards East Asian people, going even as far as physically abusing them.

   As the coronavirus outbreak got worse, a 23 year old Asian student was attacked by a group of men in London, with the cause being linked to the virus. 

   In addition to this, a video also surfaced showing a man spraying an Asian man with a type of disinfectant spray inside of a train. The video showed the Asian man standing off to the side with his earbuds in while the man openly approached him and started telling him, “Take you and your virus back to China” and “Why don’t you just go back to China”.

   Apparently even being associated with an Asian person will get you beat up as well. A woman who defended her Chinese friend from prejudice and racial slurs was knocked unconscious by a man in the U.K. 

   As an Asian American writing this, there’s no doubt that I’m a little concerned over this topic. Racism itself is a despicable thing to be associated with, but the fact that people aren’t even sparing the elderly shocks me the most. 

   A 60 year old Asian man was walking down Madison Avenue when a teenager ran up to him, and kicked him to the ground. 

   Another incident occurred in San Francisco where an elderly Asian man in a parking lot was robbed and assaulted by a group of men. After knocking away all of his shopping bags, the men proceeded to strike him with a metal pole after the Asian man tried to retrieve his stuff. 

   No one helped him. 

   Onlookers either filmed what was happening, or encouraged the men to do more damage. 

   As a student with Asian grandparents, this time is rather fearful for me, and for many Asian students with elders in their families. Young and healthy, sure, you could maybe fight off a racist who’s challenging your very existence. However, how are Asian elders supposed to fight off a group of people?

   Can my grandmother, with a height of 4 foot 9 and at an age of 85, fight off grown men? 

   Yes, the coronavirus came from China, but that does not automatically mean that being Asian equals the coronavirus. Hate crimes and discrimination shouldn’t be happening during this pandemic whereas support and compassion should be. 

   When the virus hadn’t become as serious in the U.S yet, many people thought of the whole situation as a joke. But now that it’s a global pandemic, hopefully people will see that hate crimes only make the situation worse, not better.