In late March 2020, more than 650 acts of racist acts against Asian Americans took place leading President Joe Biden to take further action to counter the rise in hate crimes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced, many Asian Americans experienced a rise in hate crimes from perpetrators with racist ideologies around the coronavirus originating from Asia.
Influential political figures such as former president Donald Trump referred to coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” and the Veneto Governor in Italy claimed COVID-19 was China’s method of world domination. These comments influenced many of the hate crimes still going on today.
Influencers on various platforms should raise awareness of xenophobia toward Asians. Social media contains more users than it has ever experienced which extends the range of information from influencers, continuity of Asian hate crimes that have taken place long before the pandemic and the rise of Asian hate crimes after people with huge influence.
Social media saw its users grow by 490 million over the past 12 months to 4.20 billion users around the world. It contains more users than any other year due to quarantine and easy access to the internet, allowing the extent of the influencer’s information to be expanded further.
As over half the world indulges in social media in addition to a 13% significant growth in users, the social media platform receives more users and support than it has ever had compared to the number of users a couple of years ago. Although these platforms have many listeners and influencers, issues are often overlooked as a minority that included the continuity of Asian hate throughout history due to minority viewed cultures and societies.
The continuity of Asian hate crimes has taken place long before the pandemic and the 21st century. A tax imposed was to target the many Chinese miners who immigrated to the US due to a crop failure which led to many Americans who were robbed of their job, furious with the Chinese people and fueled the rage and detest for Asian people.
In addition, in an 1854 Supreme Court Case, People v. Hall, it was ruled that the Chinese, like African Americans and Native Americans, were not allowed to testify in court. The ruling made it impossible for Chinese immigrants to seek justice against mounting violence.
The ruling of People v. Hall also took away the basic rights of the Chinese people to testify in court which allowed the one-sided judgment and even possible false accusations of many crimes on Chinese people. Without being able to justify themselves, Chinese people would only be hated and viewed as people who take away from others and are criminals.
In addition to the vast platform of social media and the internet as well as the continuity of Asian hate throughout history, awareness of xenophobia should also be raised to counter and oppose xenophobia. According to Britannica, 12 restricted zones were created along the Pacific coast and established nighttime curfews for Japanese Americans. Whoever broke the curfew would face immediate arrest.
Former President Donald Trump referring to the coronavirus as the “China Virus,” encouraged Asian hate. He condemned attacks again Asian-Americans, even though he continued to use the term “China Virus,” and denied doing so was racist. On the night several Asian women were shot dead in Atlanta, he referred to COVID-19 as the ‘China Virus’ on Fox News, according to ABC News.
During a news conference, President Trump persistently refers to COVID as the “Chinese Virus” as it “originates” from China, even trying to justify that the virus influences ethnicity.
ABC News reported results from a study done by the American Journal of Public Health came in wake of attacks on the Asian community in the U.S. The influence and encouragement of xenophobia and Asian hate from large influencers eventually led to shootings and violence toward Asian people which included the series of shootings in Georgia leaving eight dead, six who were of Asian descent. Amidst all the Asian hate, violence and shootings, there are still people who view these justified and even showing their public support towards the series of violent acts.
Many may argue that Asian hate and xenophobia are not acknowledged by the people and general public since the Asian population as a whole is viewed as a minority who deserves no attention or support.
Supported research highlights Asian Americans are often not given leadership opportunities and passed upon in research, clinical outreach and advocacy efforts. And since 1992, only 0.17% of the National Institutes of Health budget has constructed clinical research focused on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, according to the APA.
Over time, Asians were often viewed as minorities and were neglected from important services that even involved neglecting the minority groups in the medical field among the US population. Acknowledging this truth is at times too disturbing for a majority of Americans who tend to blame Asians as a simpler answer, according to TIME.
Asian Americans for a long time were viewed as the minority group and were even neglected by their community. To see that Asian Americans fear to even show their feelings and ideas displays the initiation of xenophobia that continues to haunt Asians today. Although many refer to Asians as minorities, there is no justification for xenophobia toward Asians and none were created to be hated.
In one of his early memorandum’s President Joe Biden stated he hopes to condemn racism, xenophobia and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He also mentioned that the Federal Government is responsible for preventing these three against everyone in the U.S., including Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans.
Although viewed as a minority, many influencers are beginning to recognize the hate that Asians receive which led to the White House taking action and establishing a series of orders to fight Asian hate as a whole. However, even with actions taken by the government Asian hate continues to live and thrive throughout the US which means that not enough action is taken.
Although Asian Americans are viewed as minority groups, it does not justify violence and hurling hurtful slurs at them. No one in society is born to hate one another or even feel superior to others, as everyone is born and dies as an equal.
Support the anti-Asian Hate movements by posting on your social media platforms incidents and cases of Asian hate to raise awareness and warn others from places that have these incidents.
Editor’s note: This lede in this story was updated on May 18 at 2:17 p.m. to clarify that more than 650 acts of racist acts against Asian Americans occurred in late March 2020.