Corona virus brings in a new wave of racism. From a disease which was born in China due to exotic foods now turning into an epidemic spreading across the world, the virus brings along social consequences.
COVID-19 a.k.a. the Corona virus has now claimed 3,386 lives, 12 of those being in the United States alone. This causes fear to spread through the country at an incredible rate, but that’s not the only thing going around, hate towards the Asian community has also increased.
Vincent To shares his experience of racist encounters that have occurred since the news of the spreading illness. “The other day I was at the store with my mom, and I was sitting down waiting for her while she was picking out some accessories. I happened to sneeze and a woman sitting a few seats away from me turned towards me with a look of pure disgust on her face, she looked at me as if I was sick, as if I had the virus. She got up and moved far away from me, looked back at me and then moved even further away from me in the seating area; it honestly hurt me a little,” he stated.
Kobe Pimentel has had the same experience as others on campus. “I feel that even though I’m not Chinese, I’m Filipino, I still feel it, like ‘oh Asian guy, get away from him, you don’t want to die’. As if being Asian has made me a target of this thing,” he stated. He also discussed a video he saw online a few days ago about a young Asian couple that was assaulted on a Philadelphia subway platform, many believing that it was a racially motivated attack. The video featured a group of people ganging up on a teenage couple, they surrounded them and continued viciously blow after blow as the couple was on the floor trying to protect one another. “It was aggravating, it was honestly upsetting to see such a thing happen. They were mercilessly beaten by a group of people, and they had done absolutely nothing to encourage such a behavior, they were minding their own business, those teenagers could have died,” added Pimentel.
Carlos Zuniga and Junior Lriq Shivers state their opinion on how social media has been treating this situation. “I’m not going to lie, some of the memes are funny; however, as time goes on, people are losing sense of what’s really happening here, they seem to be forgetting that it’s real people dying in the real world and not just some joke”, says Zuniga. Shivers adds on by stating, “These memes are highly inappropriate for the situation, and some are extremely racist and rude; they’re basically saying this whole thing is a joke.” Zuniga then talks about how, “There’s a time to joke around and there’s a time not to, and this is one of the times where we shouldn’t.” Shivers then states, “Some of the comments these people are making aren’t even just, they don’t help the situation at all, they only add on to the fear and racial slurs aren’t going to help this epidemic, it’ll only separate the community even further”.
As anti-Asian violence seems to be breaking out all over the place, the media seems to be spreading xenophobia even further. The recent attacks on the Asian community have called for a sense of unity to end the violence with multiple Asian social media influencers spreading light on the situation trying to somehow help contain it; however, will the public show the desired results; will the violence stop or is this just the beginning…