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Pandemics And Xenophobia Go Hand-in-Hand

Reports are surfacing that say the destructive curve of COVID-19 may be flattening. Finally, some light at the end of the tunnel!

However, there doesn't seem to be any flattening of the correlating curve between COVID-19 and hate crimes against the Asian community.

HATE CRIMES AGAINST THE ASIAN COMMUNITY ARE STILL HAPPENING. And they're getting more and more physically harmful. There's been an escalation from hateful, racist expletives to physical attacks that are getting increasingly dangerous to those on the receiving end. Asian Americans have seen damages to property and person, school-aged children have endured bullying, and business owners have had their establishments boycotted and spray-painted with racial slurs. Most recently, an Asian woman in New York had acid dumped on her from above. You read that correctly--ACID.

Immigration and Asian American historian Professor Erika Lee says:

"It's part of the U.S.'s long history of xenophobia. And in particular, it highlights the ways in which immigrants have often been tied to disease. As a plague, or as an invasive threat or as carriers of a contagion and disease that will then ruin the United States. We've heard this before and unfortunately we're hearing it again today.”

As with most groups that Americans marginalized, irreversible damage has likely been done. Throughout history, many immigrant groups have been unfairly blamed for disease outbreaks--Italian immigrants, Irish immigrants, and German immigrants, just to name a few. When are we going to stop pointing fingers and just look at the science? When are we going to erase the lines we have drawn between ourselves and those that we perceive as "the Other" and be one unified America? When are we going to acknowledge that America wouldn't be America without immigrants?

This pandemic has shown that it takes very little to set us back 200 years as a society. It seems that we take one leap forward, and then two leaps back. What does this say about us?

To read the full interview with Professor Erika Lee and other experts (I highly recommend it!) visit

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