Written by Peilin Sun
The United States, a country meant to represent freedom, has a history of racial hate and violence. Much of it goes unnoticed due to the undermining of certain races in the United States. Such is the case for Asian Americans, and as of late, that harassment has increased tenfold When Asians first came to America during the 1800s, they were verbally assaulted, stereotyped, and beaten by Americans. But these acts of hate crime were overlooked back then, and with the tensions on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, feelings of hatred and ignorance have led to renewed conflict.
The Coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, sparking massive criticism towards the Chinese people and government. Regardless of China’s actual involvement in the spread of the coronavirus, Anti-Chinese sentiment reached new heights when President Donald Trump referred to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan Virus” or “China flu.” The phrase fueled already existing ignorance, inciting the fears of the American public similar to the “red scare” fears of communists during the Cold War. Soon after, many Americans began to harass Asians all around the nation, and even high-school students participated by bullying Asians, throw cough drops and distanced away from Asian students as a joke. The problem is compounded by racial inaction.
Asians in general are less likely to be involved in civil rights cases than any other race. The Black Lives Matter movement is able to project its case on police brutality due to the use of historical references and more illegal gatherings.Compared to asian civil rights groups, they are unable to project the use of historical references and use more legal methods. For an Asian hate crime to be more noticeable, it needs a strong leader, a community that isn’t accommodating towards racist gestures in public life/more gatherings that are less legal for their asian representation to be heard.
Most of the time, Asian-Americans held back and were restrained in speaking out against their harassment—which made them even more of a target. Asian-Americans need to participate more in their own civil rights.Otherwise, the Asian immigrants and citizens of the United States of today will be forced to relive the same struggles their first generations had to endure.