With Covid-19 cases still at an all-time high, Asian Americans have experienced the highest rate of hate related crimes. In Portland, Oregon alone, within the last week of January, “At least 13 businesses had rocks thrown through their windows or were otherwise targeted.” (Williams). So much hate has been directed towards Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic, and yet not a lot of coverage on the news. Former president Donald Trump expressed a lot of racism towards Asians since the start of the pandemic. One incident that struck out the most was when he kept on referring to the Covid-19 virus as the “Wu Tang Virus”. Many of his supporters gained confidence due to this and thought that it was acceptable to outcast Asian Americans. They had ammunition from a higher ranking member of the government. In an article published by the New York Times, Former President Donal Trump defends using the racist term, “It’s not racist at all… It come’s from China, that’s why”(Katie, et al). Political officials can be one of the main reasons for systemic injustice. They have a great influence on their supporters, and whatever they say can be taken very seriously. Their words can fuel the fire of racism in the world.
Yet this racism still has yet to stop. A couple of weeks ago, another tragic and horrific shooting occurred in Atlanta. Eight innocent lives were lost due to this hatred. Robert Long was charged with eight counts of murder. He targeted three suburban spa’s, in which he was a customer at two. The fact that some of the police officers were defending his act of terror and stating that he had a “bad day”. There is no excuse to what he did, he clearly targeted those spas because majority of the people that worked there were Asian.
Relating this to class content, I think of Simone de Beauvoir’s concept of the the “One” vs the “Other”. In this case, Asian Americans are being outcasted for being the “Other” based solely on the their ethnicity. No one should have to feel a sense of exclusion from their society just because they are different. The hate directed towards Asian Americans is affecting their population drastically. Old and young Asian Americans are being targeted, and some even losing their lives. The violence needs to stop, and we are one step closer to change. Immediately after the Inauguration Day, President Joe Biden signed an executive order condemning anti-Asian discrimination (Fang). The executive order signed gives us hope that this hatred can all go away. No group of race deserves to be singled out due to something that isn’t even their fault.
Kale Williams. “Asian-Owned Businesses Hit in More than a Dozen Acts of Vandalism in Portland’s Jade District.” Oregonlive, 11 Feb. 2021, www.oregonlive.com/crime/2021/02/asian-owned-businesses-hit-in-more-than-a-dozen-acts-of-andalism-in-portlands-jade-district.html.
Fang, Marina. “Joe Biden Signs Executive Order Condemning Anti-Asian Racism Related To COVID-19.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 26 Jan. 2021, www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-executive-order-anti-asian-racism-covid-19_n_600f30e0c5b600a279622501
Rogers, Katie, et al. “Trump Defends Using ‘Chinese Virus’ Label, Ignoring Growing Criticism.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 Mar. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/us/politics/china-virus.html.