As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase, so does the number of hate crimes against the Asian community. New ones come to light every day, and so do older cases. In fact, I'm willing to bet that not all of these hate crimes are reported, for fear of backlash.
Earlier this month, in Manhattan, NY, a young Asian woman--a student--was waiting outside of her class' building, minding her own business. Then, a woman came at her, demanded "where [her] [expletive] mask" was, and PUNCHED the 23 year-old-student in the jaw. The attacker was then joined by a group of friends, who continued to berate the younger woman. The Asian student had to go to the hospital for a possible BROKEN JAW.
It would seem that no member of the Asian community is safe from this Coronavirus-driven racism--even children. Korean-American writer Cathy Park Hong says, “People don’t think Asians face racism, but it’s always lurking under the surface. For instance, my friend is worried for his kids. He lives in New York City, and he has a son in school who has been bullied and made fun of for having the coronavirus. There’s this yellow peril stereotype that never goes away.”
One 16-year-old Asian student DID have to go to the hospital after being physically attacked by school bullies. The bullies accused the boy of having COVID-19.
And let's not forget the stabbing of the young Asian American children in Midland, Texas. Both children were under seven years old.
In Minnesota, there have been reports of threatening notes left on Asian neighbors' front doors, saying things like "we're watching you" and "take the Chinese virus back to China" (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/juliareinstein/man-attempted-murder-asian-american-family).
When will this end? As discussed in an earlier post, the FBI is taking action; but, sadly, it seems that these hate crimes will only end with COVID-19. If you have Asian friends, students, relatives, community members...keep an extra eye on them. Make a phone call or text and check in on them. This xenophobia has to stop (as all xenophobia should). How we deal with a crisis like COVID-19 reflects who we truly are as a country, and says a lot about our country's character. We must ask ourselves what we want that to be. As the saying goes, "Be the change you want to see in the world."